Google is struggling to persuade people running adult blogs on its Blogger network that it will not necessarily ban them, just starve them of
Google sent a letter this week to thousands of blog owners threatening to delete their blogs from Monday unless they delete their advertising.
In the letter, Google says it will prohibit the monetisation of Adult content on Blogger. After June 30th 2013, we will be enforcing this policy and will remove blogs which are adult in nature and are displaying advertisements to adult websites.
But the ambiguous nature of the first sentence -- which implies that any adult blog on Blogger that takes advertising will be wiped -- has outraged and infuriated free speech campaigners.
The move has already led to high-profile defections, including Zoe Margolis, author of the female erotic memoir Girl With A One-Track Mind . She told the Guardian that she is exporting her entire blog to a separate domain in case Google wipes it
without warning. She added,
Nine years I've been with them, but only four days' notice. Disgraceful. I only have three days to export/self-host my entire blog? Fuck you, Google.
Violet Blue, a writer on sex topics, noted on Twitter:
All those things you liked about the early internet ? Sexual expression/speech on public space blogs is a big one of those things. [Its] a vague new anti-sex policy purge. It's wrong
It is thought adult sites that use non-adult adverts would not be targeted. But of course as Facebook has found out, non-adult advertisers do not like to be seen on adult sites.
Google has declined to explain the reasons for the move.
Amelia Jane Rutherford/Ariel Anderssen blogs on bondage and spanking said:
I'm alarmed and disappointed in corporate society's apparent prejudice towards sexual diversity. I'm grateful that my blog has been granted free hosting space for all these years, but sad that it's being taken away for such a frightening reason.
I'm not part of a separate dangerous species of person who expresses their sexuality online and damages all the normal people. The people (like me) who do this are normal people too. Between us all, kinky and vanilla, pornographers, dentists,
politicians, nail technicians, astronauts or whoever; I think we create an internet that reflects our interests and needs. Kinky blogs form part of that reflection. Therefore, I feel they have the same rights to belong on the internet as a sci-fi
appreciation forum, online sewing-bee or whatever.
The Indian government has ordered the country's ISPs to block 39 overseas porn sites, most of which are forums that share adult content (tube sites?).
According to The Times of India , the sites were shuttered in compliance with a June 13 order from the country's Department of Telecom (DoT).
The authorities didn't specify any reason or law under which the websites have been blocked, only telling ISPs:
It has been decided to immediately block the access to the following URLs... you are accordingly directed to immediately block the access to above URLs.
Critics are complaining that the government is out of line. Sunil Abraham, director of the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) said:
In the case of file hosts and image hosts, which people use for various purposes including for storing personal files, the DoT order is a clear overreach. Even in the case of pornography, there is nothing in the IT Act that can be used to block websites
hosted outside in India.
There is a possibility that government is interpreting some sections of the IT Act to suit its purpose but I feel that is wrong and should be challenged in the court by ISPs if they care about the rights of their users.
Howver, Rajesh Chharia, President of the Internet Service Providers Association of India said ISPs have no recourse:
We are the licensee and we have to operate under the laws... we can't pushback.
Nordic Choice Hotels have been pedalling ludicrous propaganda equating porn with child sex trafficking.
The HR & Manager for the company spewed that 1.2 million children are trafficked annually and many of them are sold into the porn industry. To show their commitment to this nonsense, the hotel chain has now banned adult entertainment from the in-room
offerings at its 168-properties around the Nordic region.
In Iceland a battle against people who enjoy porn is under way. Gender extremists are calling on the new government to introduce ways to block online pornography.
Defenders of the internet were given a boost at the end of April when the left-leaning politically correct administration was ousted by a centre-right coalition. However, gender extremists argue that, despite the setback, a debate has been started that
will not go away.
Ogmundur Jonasson, the former interior minister, who proposed the censorship, remains adamant the issue must be tackled. There are people who want to silence this discussion, but it is a discussion that will not be silenced, he said:
People want to confuse this with an argument about freedom of expression, but I would say it is those who are trying to silence the debate who are not respecting freedom of expression
Guðrún Jónsdóttir, a spokeswoman for the campaign Stigamot said:
It would make my life so much easier not to fight porn but I have to. Why should we allow unfettered misogyny, images of rape? The argument is that we need to ban porn because it hurts our children, and that is true, but it also needs to be stopped
because it is hate speech and violence against women and affects people's relationships.
She said the group planned write to all new MPs to talk to them about the porn ban. Of course the fight will continue, she said.
Google has launched its fourth 'Penguin' update affecting the search visibility for websites.
The Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) company, SearchMetrics, found eight of the top 25 sites affected were porn sites, according to searchengineland.com. The eight porn sites on the list of 25 included pornhub.com, tube8.com, xhamster.com,
largeporntube.com, bangyoulater.com, extremetube.com, 4bang.com and kporno.com.
Between them, the porn sites will lose between 25 and 40-percent of their previous SEO visibility at least for the keywords that SearchMetrics tracks, the report said.
In general the effects of Google's updates were less than expected, but there could be more to come.
Maltese lap dancer Rebecca Camilleri has been acquitted of immoral acts in public after police claimed she was dancing topless on a man's lap inside a club in Paceville.
In his judgement, Magistrate Ian Farrugia said the fact that Camilleri was topless inside a club did not constitute an immoral act when the location, the time and the age group of the people inside the club are taken into consideration. He said:
It is not the competence of the court to decree if frequenting such places is good or not, that decision has to be faced by each individual according to his conscience.
There is no way someone can be surprised or scandalised by what they see inside as one would have entered such a place in full knowledge of what is inside.
Police raided the gentleman's club Steam Bar in June 2012. A policeman alleged that he had seen Camilleri's breast exposed.
Defence lawyer Joe Giglio argued that crimes against morals had to be viewed within the context of time and place:
In a time when the country is overhauling its censorship laws, the police cannot impose their own set of 'morals' upon society.
In commenting further on his judgement, Magistrate Ian Farrugia held even if the dancer had her breast exposed, that was not sufficiently immoral nor scandalous , acquitting the dancer of all charges against her.
The Kenya Film Classification Board has warned producers of pornography. Director of information Owiti Olewe said the board will work with police to carry out spots checks and arrest those found breaking the law including those with pornographic
Olewe said pornography is illegal in Kenya:
The rise in distribution, exhibition and production of pornography and other programmes which depict elements of violence, drugs and alcohol should act as warning signs to the public.
Olewe said the board has in the past restricted films such as Movie 43 and Paradise Love which display some pornographic elements:
More of these kinds of films are accessed by the public through unlicensed distributors and exhibitors and have gradually been accepted as normal.
The internet brought easy access to vast amounts of adult films and images. Whether or not this is a good or bad thing is constantly debated, but one thing is very clear, it's not going away. So what's going to happen next?
A Brisbane barber shop says it is attracting customers from hundreds of miles away - after offering topless trims.
Barber Babes, based in the city's central business district, features topless female barbers cutting hair wearing only hot pants or underwear.
Owner operator Jasmine Robson said all her stylists were fully qualified hairdressers. She said the response has been excellent since the salon opened in February with some customers coming in every couple of days for a shave.
An Indian lawmaker has threatened to go on hunger strike if a Playboy nightclub is allowed to open in Goa, claiming it
would promote prostitution in the tourist hub. Michael Lobo, a state legislator in India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said:
I will resort to hunger strike until death if the Playboy club is allowed in Goa. Playboy will project Goa as international destination for prostitution, which is a worrying sign for the tourism industry.
Despite assurances of no nudity in the clubs, Lobo said it was obvious nobody would pay for membership just to sit and eat groundnuts.
PB Lifestyle, the Indian franchisee of the Playboy brand, announced plans in November to open 120 clubs, hotels, fashion cafes and shops in India over the next 10 years. Playboy has unveiled a modest costume for the bunny girl waitresses in Indian
outlets. This consists of a sari-inspired two-piece costume, comprising a one-shoulder top, a bare midriff and a sheer, full-length skirt with a split. The ears, bow-ties and fluffy tails remain.
Goa's Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar says the application for the first such club is under consideration, but reiterated warnings that they would never allow vulgarity .
Retired Italian porn star Llona Staller, better known as Cicciolina , has said she would like to return to politics and will run for Rome's city council.
She said she would be running for the historic Italian Liberal Party and would campaign to legalise prostitution, cannabis for medicinal use and civil unions:
My programme will be liberal, libertarian and environmentalist.
The ex-model first ran for parliament in the Green Party in 1979. She was later elected to parliament in 1987. In 1991, she founded a party called the Party of Love with fellow Italian porn star Moana Pozzi.
Wearing of miniskirts could soon land one in jail or attract heavy fines if Uganda's Parliament approves a new piece of legislation that defines anything sexy to be illegal pornagraphy.
In its current form, it is proposed that those found guilty of abetting pornography face a fine of Shs10 million under the draft law or a jail stint not exceeding 10 years, or both.
But the draft law ran into early turbulence in the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee after some members expressed concerns about its wide reaching implications for freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution. MPs in the committee also criticised the
government's attempts to legislate for sex, a course of action which could see it labelling some age-old cultural practices as pornographic.
The Bill defines pornography as any cultural practice, form of behaviour or form of communication or speech or information or literature or publication in whole or publication in part or news story or entertainment or stage play or broadcast or music or
dance or art or graphic or picture or photography or video recording or leisure activity or show or exhibition. Lawmakers said the Bill's definition of pornography was too broad and that it went against Uganda's tradition of being tolerant of cultural
Members, however, flatly rejected the minister's proposal to establish an Anti-Pornography Committee, observing that the police would enforce the law.
It also prohibits any combination of the preceding that depicts unclothed or under clothed parts of the human body such as breasts, thighs, buttocks and genitalia, a person engaged in explicit sexual activities or conduct; erotic behaviour intended to
cause sexual excitement and any indecent act or behaviour tending to corrupt morals.
'Ethics' Minister Reverend Simon Lokodo, an extremist noted for a string of repressive law proposals, presented the proposed law backed by Deputy Attorney General Fred Ruhindi. He claimed the Bill was needed to protect women and children against
exploitation and curb increasing immorality. Lokodo spewed:
The need to put in place a law that prohibits pornography is necessitated by the dangers it poses to moral fabric of the society
While the Bill seeks to outlaw indecent dressing among other social behaviours deemed pornographic under the legal parameters of the Bill, other lawmakers said the lack of definition for what constitutes "decent dressing" makes the Bill
awkward and asked the government to stop curtailing freedoms in the country which could scare away tourists.
The Uganda Law Reform Commission (ULRC) has asked Parliament to throw out the newly-tabled Anti- Pornography Bill 2011, arguing that the government can fight pornography without enacting a new law. Patrick Nyakana, a ULRC commissioner told Parliament:
We conclude that the provisions of the Anti-Pornography Bill 2011 are already catered for in the Penal Code Act, the Computer Misuse Act, Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act 2009 and other laws and thus, there is no need for this law.