UK Internet Censorship


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Daily Mail and the BBFC recommend the first 18 rated music video on YouTube...

Couple of Stacks by Dizzee Rascal


Link Here 31st March 2015
Full story: BBFC Online Music Censors...Scheme for UK music publishers to get BBFC rating for videos

British made online music videos are to being given age ratings. The BBFC, which is running the initiative, has estimated that one in five videos released will be deemed unfit for those under 12. Video sharing sites YouTube and Vevo have signed up to the scheme and pledged to include the warnings on clips uploaded to their sites. Vevo puts the rating in the top corner of the video, while YouTube includes it in the information beneath.

However some of the world's raunchiest performers, such as Miley Cyrus and Rihanna, are not covered by the scheme and there are no measures in place to enforce the guidelines. A spokesman for Vevo said:

There is no signing in as such or filters -- although this is a next step that may be added in time. At the moment this is about giving parents and users the information they need to make a more informed viewing choice and decision. To be effective it requires that parents also take an active interest in what their children are watching.

Rapper Dizzee Rascal has scored a first, his video Couple of Stacks is the first and so far the only 18 rating under the initiative for strong bloody violence, gore, very strong language . The three and a half minute clip contains extreme violence with the rapper ripping the heart out of a stripping woman, brandishing a knife while covered in blood and decapitating a woman whose body then stumbles around the room.  He also holds a family hostage and serves a cake with severed fingers instead of candles. He is shown pulling out a person's eyeball, slitting one woman's throat and cutting another's head in half.

Vivienne Pattison, a moralist campaigner from Media Watch-UK, said:

When parents are surveyed, the two areas that came up as being particularly problematic were soap operas and music videos, those are the two areas that come up again and again as the issue. One in five, that's a huge number of videos.

What happens is one video pushes the boundaries and the next artists is under pressure to do the same in order to get people talking about it. It becomes a great merry-go-round and I think that is a fantastic illustration of exactly where this is gone, it's quite extraordinary.

It's not a magic bullet but it's a fantastic step and I think it will really make a difference. I don't know where we will end up down the line but I would like this to act as a kite mark for music videos. This is not a move about censorship, the videos will all still be there, but I think artists and record companies need to take seriously that if they are targeting young fans they have got to do it responsibly.

On the lack of enforcement of the ratings, she said: You can't go into a shop and buy a 15 rated film without ID and we need to see about extending those protections online.

 

 

BBFC kindly indicate the sexiest music videos on Youtube...

Ratings now feature on UK music videos on digital service providers Vevo and YouTube


Link Here 26th March 2015
Full story: BBFC Online Music Censors...Scheme for UK music publishers to get BBFC rating for videos

The BPI and BBFC, in partnership with Vevo and You Tube, and UK record companies Sony Music UK, Universal Music UK and Warner Music UK, can announce that age ratings are now being displayed on the music videos they upload to digital service providers Vevo and YouTube.

The age ratings are part of a government-backed pilot by the UK recorded music industry, the BBFC and digital service providers designed to test how age ratings can be applied to music videos released online in the UK, so that family audiences can make more informed viewing decisions.

The pilot has been running since 3 October 2014. The first phase, which has been successful, saw the three major UK record companies (Sony Music UK, Universal Music UK and Warner Music UK) submit to the BBFC for age rating, any music videos for release online in the UK for which they would expect to be given at least a 12-rating (videos deemed not to contain content that would attract at least a 12 rating are not submitted*).

If appropriate, the BBFC then issues either a 12, 15 or 18 rating -- in line with the BBFC Classification Guidelines. As part of the ratings process the BBFC also includes bespoke content advice, called BBFC insight, which explains in more detail why an age rating has been given: for example, that scenes include sexual imagery or other content deemed inappropriate for younger viewers. Once given an age rating, the labels pass on the rating and guidance when releasing their videos to the two digital service providers -- Vevo and YouTube, who, in turn, will display it when the videos are broadcast online.

The pilot will be evaluated later this year based on consumer research, when consideration will also be given to how the scheme can be applied more widely.

Geoff Taylor, BPI Chief Executive, comments:

We want to empower consumers by giving them useful, advance guidance as to the suitability of the music videos they watch, whilst leaving artists the freedom to fully express themselves. The introduction of age ratings on top of the existing parental advisory warnings is a key next step by the UK's record labels, working with BBFC, Vevo and YouTube, that will enable families to make more informed viewing decisions.

David Austin, Assistant Director, BBFC comments:

We are very pleased to see YouTube and Vevo displaying BBFC age ratings and BBFC insight for online music videos submitted to the BBFC for classification as part of this pilot. Parents taking part in our most recent review of the BBFC Classification Guidelines in 2013, expressed their concerns about the content of music videos online, in particular their role in the sexualisation of girls and portrayals of self-harm, drug use and violence in some music video content. We hope this pilot will provide consumers with information to help guide them and their families when accessing music videos online.

Nic Jones, EVP International, Vevo, comments:

Music videos give bands and artists their best opportunity to express personality and individuality to their fans. At Vevo we fully support their right to freedom of expression in the videos they create. We also recognise our role in being able to assist music fans, and their families in particular, to be comfortable with their choice of viewing material and its suitability. In turn age ratings will help Vevo become even more valuable to brands, helping them to connect to their desired audience.

Candice Morrissey, Music Partnerships, YouTube EMEA, comments:

Over the last few months, we have been working with the UK's music industry to help them display the BBFC's age ratings on their music videos on YouTube. These are in addition to the controls we already provide on YouTube including the ability for uploaders to add age warnings to videos and a safety mode to help parents screen out content they do not feel is suitable for their children.

* It is estimated that around 20% of music videos released within the pilot are likely to be subject to a rating -- the large majority are unlikely to contain content that would be rated 12 or greater. This estimate is based on a previous video catalogue audit of one of the companies taking part in the pilot.

 

 

Over strict...

The BBFC publishes rules for EE 'strict' website blocking. The BBFC treat this as a PG rating


Link Here 22nd March 2015
The BBFC writes:

The BBFC is introducing a new Classification Framework for film and video, to filter video and website content available to customers under the age of 12 via mobile networks. The change on the EE networks will take effect from 16th March 2015.

EE restricts access to content classified as 18 and over on its mobile network as default for all customers, but offers three types of settings Off , Moderate and Strict giving customers the option to choose what content lock is right for them. The new Classification Framework is based on the BBFC's PG standard and will be added to EE's Strict content setting which can be changed on the device at any time.

David Austin, Assistant Director, BBFC said:

We first provided a framework for Mobile Operators to restrict access to content via mobile networks by customers aged under 18, in September 2013. We are pleased to be able to provide an additional Classification Framework for EE, to allow them to restrict content unsuitable for users under the age of 12. The Framework takes into account the same issues the BBFC considers when age rating a film or DVD and defines content which meets the BBFC's PG Guidelines and is therefore suitable for those under 12.

The Classification Framework is a living document and will be updated regularly to reflect evolving public attitudes and societal concerns. It has been developed using the BBFC's Classification Guidelines, these are based on large scale public consultations involving around 10,000 people, and are revised every 4-5 years.

And indeed the rules are strict

Sex

  • sexualised posing, dancing or gestures
  • sight of sexual activity unless discreet, infrequent and implied only
  • sight of sex toys and paraphernalia
  • moderate or crude sex references
  • nudity in a sexual context
  • sight of genitals in a work with no apparent educational purpose
  • sex education and advice which is inappropriate for children aged under 12 (this will include detailed discussion of topics such as abortion or sexual positions and performance)
  • verbal or visual references to bondage and other BDSM activities
Violence and Threat
  • moderate or strong violence
  • emphasis on injuries or blood, gory moments, which may be animated
  • prolonged or intense frightening sequences
  • moderate physical and psychological threat and horror
  • visual or verbal references to sexual violence
Surely a rule such as the clause that bans 'verbal references to sexual violence' would mean that all newspaper websites and perhaps all news site in general would have to be blocked along with daytime TV. The rules don't seem very will adapted to website usage. There doesn't seem to be any sense of practicality in applying the rules to large websites. Does a single use of strong language in a 12 thousand page website generally useful to kids, mean that the entire site has to be blocked?

 

 

Censorship Rules for R18 and UK Video on Demand...

The latest R18 guidelines as described by the BBFC at an ATVOD seminar for adult producers in November 2014


Link Here 15th March 2015
This was published some time ago but now just catching up. These are the R18 Guidelines as presented to producers in November 2014.

A BBFC/ATVOD seminar was held just before the guidelines were extended to internet Video on Demand published on UK websites.

The BBFC presented their current guidelines as outlined below The guidelines have been produced from notes created by producer Nikki Whiplash and published in an article from obscenitylawyer.blogspot.co.uk .

Watersports and Squirting

Peeing and squirting are acceptable if not performed onto another person and/or then consumed.

Squirting during sex or masturbation is acceptable if fairly brief, isolated and not deliberately consumed or put onto a body. It would be acceptable to imply that it was licked up if could be deemed as to be simulated.

Fisting

Fisting is not acceptable. Penetration with all five digits beyond last knuckle is not acceptable; but all five digits of two or more hands would be acceptable as long as not past last knuckle.
Ofcom have sought medical guidance on fisting and don't believe it to be a dangerous act to perform. However, as the CPS' Guidelines specifically cite fisting as obscene the BBFC can't pass fisting for classification. The BBFC acknowledge that they are well aware of the decision in R v Peacock but are obliged to have regard to CPS' OPA Guidelines.

Amputee Insertion

Since the BBFC haven't ever needed to consider amputee insertion, they reserve their position on the matter.

Enemas

Enemas are acceptable if once they are squirted out they don't hit anyone else and does not contain feces. It is not acceptable to subsequently lick up what has been expelled; unless this is simulated (for example switched for another substance).

Catheters

Catheterisation is acceptable, even if catheter connected to mouth; presuming that the tube is not transparent so that the liquid moving through cannot be seen.

Eating ejaculate

Any form of consumption of (male) ejaculate is acceptable.

Vomiting

Vomiting may be acceptable if it is not performed as part of a sexual act; and is not visibly enjoyed by the participants.

'Public' Sex

Should the content features any nudity or other activity which might outrage the public decency, then the BBFC must be assured that the material in question was shot on private land with no public access or shot abroad. However, simulating the impression that it is in public is acceptable, fir example a vehicle with tinted windows. The key consideration that the material has not been created in the public eye.

'Age Play'

Anything which might 'encourage' incest or sex with children under the age of eighteen is absolutely unacceptable.
However school uniforms are acceptable presuming that there are no references to the performer pretending to be under eighteen; and participants clearly 'of legal age' and participating in a consensual adult role play

Weapons

Sexual activities performed at gunpoint are unacceptable if it is "believable". This will depend on tone and believability. Basically if it looks like it could be a non-consensual activity then it is not acceptable.

Bondage and Restraint

Full bondage in conjunction with a gag is unacceptable, since there needs to be an obvious (to the viewer) means to signal to stop. Hence it is acceptable if not all four limbs are tied. Thus a means to indicate the withdrawal of consent must be visible to the viewer. For example full bondage and gagging would be acceptable if there is a safe signal which is defined as part of the scene.
Thus elements like artistic license, storyline and context become important. Hence a straightforward bondage scenario with no surrounding context is less likely to be acceptable than something with features a clearly signaled role play component.

BDSM Pain play

Acts which if copied by the uninitiated have the potential to cause injuries more than transient and trifling are extremely unlikely to be acceptable.
Only "moderate" pain play is acceptable. Thus reddening of the skin acceptable but no raised welts, blood and bruising are not.

Needle-Play

Needles are more likely to be considered acceptable as they only cause transient and trifling injury similar to legal tattooing.

Facesitting as Breathing Restriction

Facesitting employed as a breathing restriction or any other form of smothering is unacceptable. However, facesitting without breathing restriction is acceptable. There is no flexibility on this. The airways must remain open. Apparently the rationale for this distinction is that men trying this at home might die.

Ballbusting

Ballbusting may be acceptable, depending on the level. OFCOM recommend submitting clips in question for review. It will come down to definition of moderate pain and whether viewers at home are likely to sustain serious injury if they try it at home. Hence ball-yanking is not acceptable; whereas controlled ball stretching is acceptable.

Trampling

This will depend on the surface upon which the person is being trampled on.

Urethral Sounds

The insertion of urethral sounds is acceptable presuming that they are not inserted so far in as to enter the bladder; and that appropriate sterile and safety considerations are taken such as the use of lubricant and gloves.

Insertion of objects like buttplugs

The insertion of other objects is acceptable presuming that it is clear that they couldn't get stuck. Hence the use of buttplugs is acceptable. Hence a clip of a mobile phone vanishing up an anus would not be acceptable, despite being a spoof, on the basis that people might try it at home.

Power Tools

The use of power tools is unacceptable, since most people have one lying around at home. However purpose designed "fucking-machines" are acceptable. The test in question is the 'association with violence'.

Head-Scissoring

Head-scissoring is acceptable, presuming that it is gentle. However, if it is seen to be pushing on the carotid restricting blood flow then it is not acceptable. Hence, choking sounds or reddening of face as a result are not acceptable. As soon as any pressure is exerted it would be considered a choke hold and therefore not acceptable.

Wrestling

Wrestling is acceptable only if knockout moves are not deployed. Facesitting and seemingly non gentle scissoring are not acceptable.

Gagging

Gagging on cock and deep throat are acceptable if not for the whole scene. However, language of the 'gag on my cock' variety is unacceptable due to the reference to choking.

 

 

Updated: The Language of Censorship...

India's film censors ban Fifty Shades of Grey


Link Here 8th March 2015
Full story: Fifty Shades of Grey Movies...Kink for kids Hollywood style
India's Central Board of Film 'Classification' (CBFC) has decided to ban the screening of Fifty Shades of Grey.

The distributors had submitted a pre-cut version with all the nudity missing but this was not enough for the censors. One of the chief executive of the CBFC, Shravan Kumar declined to divulge details as to why the panel refused to approve the movie.

Previous reports suggest that the sexy dialogue was also too much for the censors to bear, particularly as the loony new chief censor is trying to ban strong language in all films.

A source from Universal Pictures talked about how filmmakers tried their best to tone down movie's sex scenes and remove all nudity in direction with the review process in India.

The announcement shouldn't shock Indian movie buffs, as CBFC's latest changing guidelines are all over the news with board posing issues to cuss words, sexually explicit content and words.

Update: Because the appeal options are not yet exhausted the CBFC bizarrely contend that the banned movie is not officially 'banned'

8th March 2015. See  article from  timesofindia.indiatimes.com

The Central Board of Film Censorship (CBFC) has refuted news that the film adaptation of the erotic novel, Fifty Shades Of Grey , has been banned in India.

Reportedly, the examining committee of the Censor Board recently watched the pre-cut version and claimed it to be too provocative for Indian audiences. Shravan Kumar, CEO, CBFC pedantically tried to explain that this was not an 'official' ban:

Many mainstream films don't get clearance in the first step. The producers can appeal against the decision and go for the revising committee's opinion. Even if the revising committee gives a verdict refusing certification, an appeal can be made to Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT). The film is in the process of certification and they have to revert to us,

 

 

Offsite Article: Meet Charlotte Rose...


Link Here 4th March 2015
Full story: UK Internet Porn Content Censorship...2014 law censors content and mandates age verification for porn
Prospective MP and campaigner against David Cameron's internet porn censorship

See article from vice.com

 

 

Shopping: The Oblong Box...

1969 UK horror by Gordon Hessler, Once cut by the BBFC, now just released on UK DVD


Link Here 2nd March 2015
Edgar Allan Poe's the Oblong Box is a 1969 UK horror by Gordon Hessler.
Starring Vincent Price, Christopher Lee and Rupert Davies. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

UK: Passed 15 uncut for strong violence, moderate sex and nudity for:

  • 2015 Simply Media R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 23rd February 2015

Reviews

UK Censorship History
Cut by the BBFC for an X rated 1969 cinema release. The cuts persisted onto VHS but released uncut on DVD since 2008. Uncut and MPAA PG-13 rated in the US.

See further details at Melon Farmers Film Cuts: The Oblong Box

Promotional Material

Gordon Hessler directs this 1960s horror starring Vincent Price. Lord of the manor Julian Markham (Price) is ashamed of his mutilated brother Edward (Alistair Williamson) and keeps him hidden away from public view in the tower of his vast house. However, when Edward escapes he attempts to get his revenge on his overbearing brother. The cast also includes Christopher Lee, Rupert Davies and Sally Geeson.

 

 

Un-PC facts about internet porn...

University professor notes: 'There is no evidence that today's generation of young people are behaving any differently in relation to sex, marriage, pregnancy, children or STDs than previous generations'


Link Here 19th February 2015
Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Professor Brian McNair is one of the world's foremost academic experts on pornography.

The subject matter of his work is often seen as peculiar or taboo, yet he believes pornography should be studied in the same way as Hollywood movies and the pop industry. Professor McNair told ABC Brisbane's Spencer Howson that the growing acceptance of pornography had made it a fascinating subject of academia:

Since the 1990s many scholars have taken the topic of pornography seriously and tried to apply to it the same methods that we use for mainstream cinema, advertising and so on, he said. There is a growing acceptance and tolerance of pornography as something ordinary people do or use.

There is no evidence that today's generation of young people are behaving any differently in relation to sex, marriage, pregnancy, children or STDs. Professor Brian Mc Nair. He said the ease and degree of access had led to more people viewing pornographic material:

Children as young as 8, 9 or 10 have access to pornography, hard-core explicit images of a type that could not be purchased legally, or even in sex shops in Sydney, he said.

That is a qualitatively different environment than existed pre-internet, so it creates justified anxieties amongst parents about what their children are watching in their bedrooms at night.

That said, there is no evidence that today's generation of young people are behaving any differently in relation to sex, marriage, pregnancy, children or STDs than previous generations.

The statistics in all of these elements are improving.

He believes parents must take responsibility for policing the media consumption of their children. He said:

Apart from the very clear and unambiguously bad forms of pornography, I do not think it is helpful for the state to intervene and try to censor the internet for everyone

Whether or not you attribute broader social harms to pornography, there is no evidence that increasing access to pornography is somehow generating more sexual abuse or violence ... or the other things that sometimes pornography is accused of.

There is evidence of greater tolerance of gay marriage, reduced tolerance of domestic violence and sexism. All of this has happened despite the face that we have this hugely sexualised culture.

 

 

Updated: Biting the hand that feeds it...

ATVOD faced with having to raise fees to compensate for the businesses that it has suffocated


Link Here 15th February 2015
A can't image mainstream video on demand companies are very happy about having to fund ATVOD's expensive moral campaign against the adult trade. But it looks like they will have to stump up more cash as porn companies have been closed or forced to move abroad and hence no longer contribute to the costs.

ATVOD have written in its board meeting minutes for November 2014:

The high number of Super A [top tier of fees] debtors at 60 days or more was noted.

The Board DISCUSSED at length the potential increase in fees in 2015-16, which was likely to be necessary as a result of a shrinking fee base as consolidation took place in a maturing VOD market. It was acknowledged that ATVOD had achieved a good working relationship with industry, and had established collaboration and built trust. The Board DISCUSSED cost reduction options and the paramount need to ensure that ATVOD had sufficient resources effectively to undertake its functions as a co-regulatory body. The merits of maintaining a research budget were underlined. It was considered important that ATVOD should be open, honest and transparent about the cost of providing a high quality regulatory service for stakeholders.

The Board CONSIDERED that it was appropriate for stakeholders to be aware of the volatility of fee income from ODPS, and the impact on ATVOD. The Fees Consultation document would continue to provide additional detail about the specific activities that ATVOD undertakes and the resources required.

Update: A high price to pay for ATVOD's censorship campaign

15th February 2015.  See  consultation from  atvod.co.uk

ATVOD are estimating that as well as suffocating all the small players in the VoD industry that the larger players will merge and consolidate and hence reduce in numbers. This decrease in 'Super A' players is having a deep impact at ATVOD, and to maintain the lifestyle that they have grown accustomed to, they are proposing a large fee increase.

These Super A companies will be 'asked' to pay up an extra 14.9% whilst the smaller players will be 'asked' for an extra 5.7%.

 

 

Offsite Article: Discriminatory Censorship...


Link Here 15th February 2015
Full story: David Cameron's Internet Porn Ban...Attempting to ban everything on the internet
New UK Regs Will Set Back Women in Porn. By Nichi Hodgson

See article from xbiz.com

 

 

Offsite Article: Is it time to choose a side?...


Link Here 13th February 2015
Full story: UK Internet Porn Content Censorship...2014 law censors content and mandates age verification for porn
More heavy handed restrictions expected as ATVOD looks to extend power. By Ben Yates

See article [pdf] from pervlens.com

 

 

More people to be persecuted for extreme pornography...

More nasty laws generated by crap politicians who seem to get a kick out of jailing innocent people


Link Here 12th February 2015
'Justice' Secretary Chris Grayling has been speaking of the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill, which was expected to get Royal Assent today,

This bill extends the definition of extreme pornography to include the depiction of rape with vague definitions that will surely see hundreds of people likely to become victims when police make commonplace and routine computer searches.

The government has also increased the maximum penalty to 2 years for those who send internet insults that the authorities deem to be abusive.

 

 

Sky Censors...

Melon Farmers blocked on Sky's default website blocking setting


Link Here 1st February 2015
So if the news Sky has turned on its website blocking system for all subscribers. And Melon Farmers is on the blocking list for those that don't turn the censorship off.

It is interesting that Sky's blocking system is the only home broadband company to censor Melon Farmers, although the site is blocked across the board by mobile companies.

I will be having a little ponder over thinking about ways to allow readers to keep up to date with censorship.

In the meantime sister site, censorwatch.co.uk , remains unblocked. The site carries most of the news items on Melon Farmers but doesn't carry adverts and articles focused at the adult industry.