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Asia Pacific Censorship News


2020: Oct-Dec

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Offsite Article: Hackers leak documents revealing China's coronavirus censorship...


Link Here 21st December 2020
Full story: Internet Censorship in China 2020s...A new decade of Chinese internet censorship
The documents reveal that China's censorship on information about the outbreak began in early January, before coronavirus had even been decisively identified

See article from jpost.com

 

 

Devotion...

Games distributor COG caves to Chinese pressure and de-lists the game Devotion


Link Here18th December 2020
Full story: China International Censors...China pressures other countries into censorship
Gaming store GOG changed its plans about listing horror game Devotion just a few hours after the game's developer announced it would be available on the platform. GOG tweeted:

After receiving many messages from gamers, we have decided not to list the game in our store.

Red Candle Games did not detail the messages received, but clearly these from China or Chinese website users demanding censorship of the game.

The game from Taiwanese Red Candle Games was first released on February 19, 2019. The game received critical acclaim, but contained a reference to the internet meme likening Chinese president Xi Jinping to Winnie the Pooh. The game was removed from Steam after six days on release. Chinese users (or bots) retaliated against the meme by review bombing the game on Steam.

 

 

Updated: Blood and bullshit...

Ubisoft censors the Japanese game release of Assassin's Creed Valhalla


Link Here27th November 2020
Assassin's Creed Valhalla is the latest release in Ubisoft's longest-running franchise. It seems that not all versions of the game are equal to others. Japanese players say the game isn't what was promised, and further that it was censored egregiously compared to western versions of the game.

The Japanese release of Assassin's Creed Valhalla is censored in several significant ways. It removes or alters violent gameplay and animations related to severed limbs, torture involving inner organs, decapitated heads and female nudity, including nipples.

The game features a worldwide option to turn blood spurts during combat on and off. However, presumably because the game is already censored in Japan, the option then does very little.

Japanese buyers have also complained that the availability of the option implies that more violence is available than actually is, and so feel misled.

With the usual corporate bullshit, Ubisoft claimed that the removal of blood spurts was necessary for ratings purposes. But CERO, Japan's Computer Entertainment Rating Organization, said that that blood spurts comparable to previous Assassin's Creed releases in Japan were included when it did its rating.

Update: Patched

27th November 2020. See article from gamerant.com

Ubisoft is issuing a fix to Assassin's Creed Valhalla following the revelation that Japanese versions of the game had depictions of blood censored.

A Japanese Ubiblog post has now acknowledges the problematic censorship, stating that blood cannot be depicted in-game and that the development team is preparing a patch to solve the issue releasing sometime in December. Ubisoft goes on to apologize for the inconvenience to its customers.

 

 

Who'd take a job as the fall guy anyway?...

Turkey fines Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for failing to comply with new censorship laws


Link Here7th November 2020
Full story: Internet Censorship in Turkey...Website blocking insults the Turkish people
The Government of Turkey has fined Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram 10 million lira ($1.2 million) each for not complying with a new social media censorship law that took effect last month. The law places penalties on any refusal by social media companies to take down posts that the government deems offensive.

According to the law, social media sites with more than one million Turkish daily users must appoint a fall guy accountable to Turkish courts, abide by governmental orders to remove offensive content within 48 hours, and store user data inside Turkey.

Beginning with fines, the law gives the government the ability to increase penalties up to the cutting of sites' bandwidth by 90%, essentially blocking access to the social media platform altogether.

It will be interesting to see if Turkey is willing to block social media, surely local businesses would not be very impressed by such a move.

 

 

Censor more or else!...

China steps up vague demands for the censorship of social media


Link Here29th October 2020
Full story: Internet Censorship in China 2020s...A new decade of Chinese internet censorship
China's internet censor, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), has announced plans to start a 'rectification' of Chinese mobile internet browsers to address social concerns over the chaos of information being published online.

According to CAC, firms operating mobile browsers have until 9 November to conduct a self examination and rectify problems. These problems include spreading of rumors, the use of sensationalist headlines and publishing content that infringes the core values of socialism.

CAC threatened that after the 'rectification', mobile browsers that still have outstanding problems will be dealt with strictly according to laws and regulations until related businesses are banned.

Huawei said it plans to start a 'self-examination and clean-up' in line with the regulator's requests.

 

 

Updated: Anti-democracy...

Thailand's military rulers turn to censorship to counter pro-democracy protests


Link Here20th October 2020
The Prime Minister of Thailand has now banned political gatherings comprising five people or more. He has also banned publishing news or online information that can is deemed to threaten national security.

Starting from the BBC to local Thai television stations, several outlets were blatantly censored during transmission. NHK Premium, a Japanese media outlet, for instance, had to interrupt covering the protests that took place on the night of 14th October. What's more, this act of censorship was committed even before the Prime Minister announced the decree about political gatherings.

BBCWorld's producer, Thanyarat Doksone posted an image of a white screen that showed: Program will resume shortly . Doksone said that their Southeast Asia's correspondent's show covering the protests was also interrupted. Twitter users also pointed out that a Thai cable channel had also stopped showing CNN's coverage of the protests and showed a white screen, which said: Program will resume shortly.

Prime Minister Prayuth said on Friday he would not resign as anti-government protesters continue. Prayuth held a cabinet meeting on Friday morning after tens of thousands of citizens gathered in central Bangkok on Thursday night, calling for the PM's resignation.

The student-led demonstrations began in July, aimed not only at Prayuth, the leader of the 2014 military coup, but King Maha Vajiralongkorn, in the biggest challenge for several years to an establishment that has long been dominated by the army and palace.

 

Update: Telegram set for censorship

20th October 2020. See article from smh.com.au

A top official with the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission has confirmed reports that the agency had been ordered to block access to the messaging app Telegram.

Suthisak Tantayothin said it was talking with internet service providers about doing so, but the encrypted messaging app favoured by many demonstrators around the world was still available in the country at the time of writing.

Telegram proved very hard to block in Russia as Telegram was hosted by Amazon cloud services and it is difficult to block Amazon hosted websites and apps without blocking all services hosted by Amazon.

 

 

 

Offsite Article: I was an ordinary 20-year-old. Now I'm a target of the Chinese state...


Link Here 19th October 2020
Full story: China International Censors...China pressures other countries into censorship
Australian student Drew Pavlou says he's been assaulted, suspended from university and harassed online for speaking out against the Chinese regime. By Paddy Hannam

See article from spiked-online.com

 

 

The Chinese Empire...

China censors French Museum over wrong think about Genghis Khan


Link Here14th October 2020
Full story: China International Censors...China pressures other countries into censorship
A history museum in western France has postponed an exhibition about the Mongol emperor Genghis Khan for three years, citing censorial interference by the Chinese government.

The Château des ducs de Bretagne in Nantes says that it decided to pause the production after Chinese authorities asked that names and terms like "Genghis Khan," "empire," and "Mongol" not be used in the exhibition. The museum also alleges that the Chinese government asked to oversee the exhibition's brochures, legends, and maps.

The museum further detailed that the collaboration was hampered by the interference of the Chinese Bureau of Cultural Heritage, which requested changes that included notably elements of biased rewriting of Mongol culture in favour of a new national narrative.   The museum noted that censorship underscored the hardening ... of the position of the Chinese government against the Mongolian minority.


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