A new group of Australian nutters called Collective Shout had a whinge about a billboard advertisement for a Vitaco diet protein bar.
The ad read Keep Australia Beautiful next to the bikini clad chest of a model.
This ad reinforces a narrow standard of beauty and objectifies women. The message is that it is a woman's duty to look a certain way for the benefit of others. It may as well say Keep Australia Beautiful
by looking hot in a bikini.
Australia's Advertising Standards Board didn't see it that way and dismissed a few complaints along the lines of the Collective Shout whinge. The ASB wrote:
considered Section 2.3 which states: „
Advertising or marketing Communications shall treat sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity to the relevant audience and, where appropriate, the relevant programme time zone.
The Board noted the complainants concerns that the image is in a public place where it is visible by a broad audience, including children. The Board noted that the model is clearly clothed in a bikini and the image
used is viewed in connection with the text, making a clear association between the image of the woman and the product being advertised ie: a food product designed to assist with weight management and good health.
The Board noted
that although the focus of the image is on the woman.s body and particularly her chest, she is well covered by the bikini, is not in a sexualized pose and the image does not include any nudity. The Board considered that the image of the woman was not
overtly sexualised and that most members of the community would consider the image a nice image of a woman at the beach.
The Board noted that the size of the advertisement and the placement on public transport meant that the
relevant audience was very broad and could include children, however, the Board considered that the image was relatively mild and unlikely to be considered sexualised by most members of the community. The Board considered that most members of the
community would not find the advertisement offensive.
The Board considered that the advertisement did treat sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity to the relevant audience and that it did not breach Section 2.3 of the Code.
But Collective Shout now feel that they have achieved a bit of a victory after they were contacted by Vitaco and were told that the Keep Australia Beauitful campaign will now be laid to rest.
New Zealand's Broadcasting Standards Authority has declined to uphold a complaint by Family First that popular television show Californication breached the standards of good taste and decency.
Family First's complaint claimed the
quantity of offensive words in such a short period of programming plus the repetitive use of some of the most offensive words in the episode (on TV3 on April 18 2011) breached standards of good taste and decency.
The first 30 minutes of the
episode, which was prefaced by an Adults Only warning, contained 45 instances of strong language, including what Family First referred to as the most offensive word, presumably 'cunt'.
However, the BSA declined to uphold the complaint,
noting the language used in the episode, which screened an hour after the Adults Only watershed of 8.30pm, was in keeping with the 'narrative context' of the series .
Moreover, the most offensive word had been edited out of the
public broadcast, appearing only in the online version of the episode on TV3 on-demand.
The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB), an organization representing the interests of Christian broadcasters and ministries, has released a report showing that social media websites are actively censoring Christian viewpoints.
According to an
NRB press release, the group's study examined the practices of Apple and its iTunes App Store, Google, Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter, as well as Internet service providers AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, The findings, said the NRB's senior vice
president and general counsel, Craig Parshall, were ominous.
The NRB found that among the major players in new media, only Twitter had shied away from Christian opinions.
One of the most conspicuous examples of censorship the NRB
found was that targeting viewpoints that challenged the notion that homosexuality is a normal and healthy lifestyle.
As reported by The New American, over the past year Apple has bowed to pressure from homosexual activists to pull two iPhone apps,
one by Exodus International, a group that helps individuals leave the homosexual lifestyle, and another that included the text of a Christian document entitled the Manhattan Declaration, which among other things, makes a strong declaration of the
sanctity of life, the scriptural view of traditional marriage, and the importance of religious liberty. The NRB study found that of the 425,000 or so apps available through Apple's iTunes App Store, only these two were taken down solely because of
the viewpoints they expressed on homosexuality.
Among the other findings of the NRB study, part of its John Milton Project for Religious Free Speech:
Facebook has indicated that it will delete all instances of content that it considers to be anti-homosexual.
The Google for Non-Profits web tool includes a policy that excludes churches, ministries, and other faith groups that consider
religion or sexual orientation in their hiring practices.
While virtually all major new media platforms ban what is generally referred to as hate speech, what that definition generally boils down to is unacceptable viewpoints on such
issues as homosexuality.
New nutters on the block, Collective Shout describe themselves as a new grassroots campaigns movement mobilising and equipping individuals and groups to target corporations, advertisers, marketers and media which objectify women and sexualise girls to
sell products and services.
They have also claimed that it was they who called for a review of the R18+ certificate for A Serbian Film. This review led to the R18+ certificate being revoked and for it to be banned instead.
Other groups to
have supported Collective Shout in their action are Children of Phoenix and Kids Free 2B Kids
Focus on the Family, the US pro-censorship group founded by Dr. James Dobson, has announced that it is eliminating 49 more jobs due to declining donations. The organization now employs 650 people, less than half the number it employed at the height of
its popularity in 2002.
The group still expects to receive contributions of between $90 million and $95 million for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, which falls short of its projected $105 million budget for the current year.
fast losing contributors due to the Republican-caused Great Recession is Family Research Council (FRC), the fundamentalist anti-abortion, anti-contraception, anti-gay-rights, anti-Obama, anti-church/state-separation, anti-tax,
anti-stem-cell-research, anti-immigrant, anti-Social-Security, anti-public-education (etc.) group.
In order to accomplish that agenda, however, the group is asking for $1.8 million in last-minute contributions to shore up company coffers before
that magic date, Sept. 30, presumeably the end of FRC's fiscal year.
The Parents TV Council have issued what they call an Action Alert saying:
Reality television has hit a horrific new low, and we urgently need your help to hold the network and its executives responsible!
Whether you love or loathe child beauty pageants; everyone should agree that sexualizing a three-year-old little girl is wrong. But that is exactly what the TLC network has done.
In what was
likely a misguided effort to gin-up publicity and ratings for its controversial Toddlers and Tiaras reality series, TLC (formerly The Learning Channel) released footage of a three-year-old pageant contestant dressed as the prostitute character in the
1990 film Pretty Woman.
Such brazen and wanton material should qualify as child exploitation or abuse. And this comes just one week after TLC was forced to pull their Facebook page due to the deluge of negative
comments over another episode of Toddlers and Tiaras that featured a little girl dressed to look like Dolly Parton, complete with padded bust and buttocks.
The Indonesian Broadcasting Commission criticised a major television station, SCTV, for giving into Islamists' demands that a film on religious tolerance be pulled.
The Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) had threatened to storm SCTV headquarters if it
broadcast a movie titled ? directed by Muslim filmmaker Hanung Bramantyo.
We regret SCTV's decision to not air the movie. The movie has passed the censorship requirements and it doesn't violate any regulations, broadcasting
commission official Ezki Suyanto told AFP. It seems the station is just afraid of the FPI. SCTV should not have given in to them. This is a bad precedent for other groups to do the same to TV stations.
FPI secretary-general Sobri Lubis said
the movie tried to incite hatred toward Islam and disgraced the religion by suggesting Muslims could live together harmoniously with people of other faiths in one country: The movie supports the idea of pluralism and that the unification of many
religions is acceptable. We rejected this dirty and damaging movie from the start.
The Parents Television Council has released the results of its latest study, Cartoons Are No Laughing Matter , documenting supposedly shocking levels of adult content on networks with the highest-rated primetime animated cable shows
among children ages 12-17.
PTC President Tim Winter claimed:
Nielsen data told us where children ages 12-17 are watching animated programming on basic cable. PTC analysts followed the Nielsen data in order
to see exactly what type of material kids are consuming. The findings of this report should be vexing for every parent. The term 'adult' not only describes the nature of the cartoon content itself; it also describes the products being marketed to kids.
Our data demonstrates that today's norm is profanity-laden storylines involving everything from rape and cocaine to STDs and crystal meth. There is now more sexual content on these cartoons than violence -- even when
counting traditional 'light' cartoon violence.
Just as shocking as the volume and degree of adult material in the cartoons was the abysmal network failure rate in applying consistent TV content rating standards. During
the study period, harsh profanity and graphic sexual depictions aired during programs rated TV-PG. Cartoon Network failed to use the ratings system to warn parents about sexual content, suggestive dialogue and explicit language 100 percent of the time.
We also discovered the networks are directly marketing adult entertainment products to kids during TV-PG programming, including R-rated movies and TV-MA shows and DVDs.
Parents need to understand just how explicit
these cartoons are so they can make better viewing decisions for their family. They also must be given the chance to unsubscribe to explicit cable networks. As it stands now, every parent who subscribes to cable so their kids can watch Disney or
Nickelodeon is also forking over cash every month to Adult Swim. Parents, not cable companies, should decide which cable networks they want to pay for.
PTC research analysts documented 1,487 incidents of supposedly explicit
language, drugs and sexual content during the four-week study period. On average, young viewers were exposed to 'adult' content once every two minutes and 19 seconds. TV-PG rated animation featured sex, drugs or profanity every two minutes and 31
seconds. Adult Swim, which used to begin airing at 11:00 pm ET and now begins at 9:00 pm ET (8:00 pm CT), included some of the highest-rated animated shows among ages 12-17 and the highest levels of explicit content.
Sex (680 instances) surpassed every form of violence (674 instances) in animated primetime cable programming.
.Sexual depictions included simulations or obscured scenes of sexual intercourse, pornography, masturbation, pedophilia and
There were a total of 208 incidents relating to drugs, including cocaine, marijuana, crystal meth, psychedelics and alcohol. Eighty percent of the drug-related incidents were depictions rather than references.
The study identified 565 incidents of explicit language on shows rated TV-PG and TV-14. Twenty-seven percent of the uses of fuck and shit occurred on TV-PG programs.
85% of the TV-PG shows and 64% of the TV-14 shows containing sexual content did not have an S descriptor warning parents.
TV-PG and TV-14 shows included advertisements for adult media, including TV-MA DVDs, TV-MA shows, and R-rated movies.
All R-rated movies that aired during the study period were advertised during TV-PG programs.
Poor Patrick Trueman! Ever since he got roped into taking over the flagging censorship organization Morality in Media, contributions have been dropping away.
It now appears that Morality in Media is in deep financial trouble.
in an email sent to MiM fans on Monday:
The economy is taking a great toll on non-profits like ours.
I don't like to approach you this way, but knowing of your keen interest in
our work, I thought you would like to hear from us on this.
Money is what the porn industry has. We have people, in growing numbers and with a great willingness and spirit to fight the scourge of pornography. I know it
is a sacrifice for many of you to give your hard-earned money to help us in our fight. But, you know that our small staff is making a major difference and we count on you. We need immediate help. There is no other way to say it. We have been very
aggressive in our war on the porn industry and we are fighting on many fronts. We have stretched even the smallest funds to accomplish great things!
Apparently, that plea didn't do a lot of good, because on Tuesday, he sent
I wrote you yesterday telling you of our urgent need for funding, Trueman wrote urgently. I profoundly thank those who gave. We are far from our goal, however. Frankly we need to raise $40,000 in the next 10
days. I know from past experience that that amount is possible. I also know that it will take some sacrifices on your behalf for which we are so grateful. [Emphasis added]
We have a very small staff, four full-time
people, he continued. And we keep costs down. We even discontinued using our mailing house and all mailings, such as our newsletter, fundraising appeals, etc. are done in our office to save money. Your contribution goes a very long way.
Even with that appeal not enough people sacrificed, because today, we got this:
We received many contributions yesterday and it is so helpful. We are still far from our goal of $40,000 and
our financial situation threatens us.
News that the first hard-core porn .xxx domain has gone live caused US nutters of Morality in Media to call for an investigation of ICM Registry, the company behind the .xxx domain, for possible violations of federal laws prohibiting distribution of
hard-core internet pornography.
Title 18 United States Code Sections 1462 and 1465 prohibit distribution of hardcore, obscene Internet pornography. Yet, isn't that the purpose of the .xxx domain? asked Patrick A. Trueman, President of
Morality in Media. He continued:
Further, Title 18 U.S.C. Section 2 prohibits aiding and abetting a federal crime and title 18 U.S.C. 371 prohibits a conspiracy to commit a federal crime. The U. S. Attorney
General, Eric Holder, should review the activities of ICM Registry in relation to these federal criminal laws immediately.
Will Attorney General Holder stand by and watch this pandemic of harm continue to spiral when
he has laws at his disposal that can be enforced against this destructive material? We take this opportunity to urge him to vigorously enforce federal obscenity laws against major online commercial distributors of hard-core adult pornography and those
who aid and abet its distribution.
If Attorney General Holder won't investigate ICM Registry now, we will press the next attorney general to do so. This issue will never go away for ICM Registry or for Internet
pornographers who attempt to hide their criminal activities behind the .xxx domain.
But of course in reality the .XXX domain may specialise in : hardcore, Internet pornography, but this certainly does not necessarily
mean it is : hardcore, obscene Internet pornography.
The Australian Christian Lobby has asked classification ministers meeting in Adelaide later this week that they should wait until the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) completes its review of the National Classification Scheme before voting on
video game classification reform that would add a new R18+ rating.
ACL spokesman Rob Ward said:
You can't equate an R18+ game with an R18+ film because games are interactive and repetitively engage the
gamer in acts of violence and sex, Ward said. Allow the Australian Law Reform Commission to complete its comprehensive review and detail how games should be classified and whether they should be introduced into the Australian market.
However ACL were not so impressed by South Australian Attorney-General John Rau's desire to reclassify existing MA15+ games as R18+:
Mr. Rau's suggestion wouldn't address or fix the problems
inherent in the existing classification system, such as subjective and ill-defined guidelines. The system also requires proper enforcement mechanisms and consequences for publishers and retailers who breach the guidelines.
A call to ban energy drink cans featuring sexual innuendo has been made by the National Council of Women. The campaigners claim that the text has offended half the population.
The drinks, called Ms Svenson's Classroom Detention and Miss
Helen's Massive Melons , have sexual references such as Miss Helen is never shy in getting her big plump ripe melons out for the lads .
National Council of Women president Elizabeth Bang said that the messages on the can were sexist and
offensive to women: First, there's the portrayal of women as sex objects. Second, the sale of these drinks is unrestricted so anyone of any age, including young boys, can buy them.
In June 2011, The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (just renamed from the Organisation of the Islamic Conference) petitioned the Netherlands to gag Geert Wilders.
The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation strongly
condemned the attacks on Islam and the supposed insult and vilification of Muhammad and his wives by the Dutch right wing politician Geert Wilders.
The 0IC Secretary General said that Wilders has taken upon himself a dangerous path of derailing
inter civilizational harmony and peace by spreading and fanning hatred against Islam and Muslims in his own country as well as in other European countries.
Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu explained that the vilification of Islam and the sacred image of
the Prophet Muhammad by Wilders has reached a stage when it can no longer be tolerated under any pretext including the right to freedom of expression. He urged the Government or Netherlands to take necessary appropriate action to contain the campaign of
hatred and incitement by Wilders who is a coalition partner of the Dutch Government. He expressed serious concern that the silence of the Dutch Government in this respect may undermine the existing good bilateral relations between the 0IC Member States
and the Netherlands.
Last week the Dutch cabinet responded to the demands from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal says:
The Dutch Government will continue to reject any
call to gag a politician. The Netherlands enjoys freedom of expression and attaches great value to it.
Morality in Media have announced the Be Aware: PORN HARMS National Awareness Campaign , a four-week nutter effort beginning on July 11, 2011.
Pornography is silently and secretly destroying men, women, and children. It is a pandemic
ruining lives, marriages and families, claimed Patrick Trueman, President of Morality in Media, the leading member of the War On Illegal Pornography Coalition. Our now Pornified society has eroded the cultural norms in America. This harm must end
and that is why we are launching the Be Aware: PORN HARMS campaign, he added.
The pandemic of harm from pornography demonstrates a critical need for enforcement of current federal laws against illegal hardcore pornography, said Trueman.
Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of Morality in Media said there will be over 25 events during the month, from local rallies to webinars to live online conferences. Participating groups will provide hundreds of free subscriptions to addiction
recovery services and filtering software. Morality in Media will provide billboards, signs and web posters at no cost to all supporters. Those participating in live online events include: Candeo, Fight The New Drug, Content Watch, Bsecure, as well as law
enforcement leaders and academic scholars.
Last week several dozen men attacked a cinema in Tunis that had advertised a film publicly titled in French Ni Allah, Ni Maitre (No God, No Master) by Tunisian-French director Nadia El-Fani, an outspoken critic of political Islam.
arrested 26 men, but Salafists gathered outside the justice ministry two days later to demand their release, leading to scuffles with lawyers. Security forces were heavily deployed in central Tunis to stop protests after Friday prayers last week.
Secular media and intellectuals have reacted with alarm, warning that freedoms in Tunisia are in danger of being lost if Islamists across the spectrum of Islamist politics are not stopped.
An avowed atheist, director Nadia El Fani is a lightning rod for Islamists who has campaigned for removing an article in Tunisia's constitution naming Islam is the religion of state. She says it precludes the rights of Jews, Christians, atheists
and others. There is a battle now to make people understand better that if we are to safeguard the liberty gained in ousting the dictator, we must protect all liberties, she said, speaking from France. What is clear is that there are many who
want to live religion as they want. In Tunisia today I do not have the right to say that I do not believe in God.
Fani said she had now changed the documentary's title to La Laicite Maintenant (Secularism Now) at the behest of French
distributors after it showed at Cannes this year.