In July 2015, Australia game censors began to use a random rating generator that it refers to as the International Age Rating Coalition Classification Tool.
This is a low level automated tool that makes its decisions based on a few survey questions.
It produces very shoddy results that for high profile games cause press embarrassment and lead to appeals where human censors can override the automated rating with something more sensible.
However for low profile games and apps the low quality
ratings are allowed to stand presumably because it costs significant money to get them rectified. The net result is that there are plenty of games and apps that end up permanently banned.
The Medium is a 2020 Poland single player psychological horror from Bloober Team
The game has been banned by the Australian Censorship Board for reasons unknown. Neither the censors nor the developers have specified any particular reasons for
The censor's database notes that the film was rated as Refused Classification (banned) in July 2020. The database also notes that the game was submitted under the automated random rating generator process known as IARC. This has a long
history of ludicrous ratings that eventually get overturned by human censors.
The game's developers, Bloober Team has made a name for themselves thanks to the line of horror video game titles but it looks like The Medium will be their largest project
launch to date. It is claimed that due to computing requirements, it will only run on the latest consoles, notably Xbox Series X.
It is reported that Bloober Team are making cuts to secure a presumably R18+ rating.
Australia has banned the import of adult anime media and products, including hentai, into the country.
This new ban was first reported by popular Japan-based online anime retailer J-List, who informed their customers on October 14th that Australia is
killing off any chance of adult anime entering the county so he shop has had to stop shipping there. The retailer explained:
DHL Japan called us last week, informing us that Australian customs have started rejecting
packages containing any adult product. They then advised us to stop sending adult products to the country. Following that, current Australian orders with adult items in them were returned to us this week.
J-List then stated that adult
items banned by Australian customs include onaholes, hentai manga, doujinshi, cast-off figures, JAV DVDs, and any product marked with a +18 symbol on the product's thumbnail.
Australia's eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman-Grant has rejected the practicality of a know your customer-type ID verification requirement for social media companies to ensure the age of their users.
Addressing Senate Inman-Grant said such a regime
works in the banking industry as it has been heavily regulated for many years, particularly around anti-money laundering:
It would be very challenging, I would think, for Facebook for example to re-identify -- or
identify -- its 2.7 billion users, she said. How do they practically go back and do that and part of this has to do with how the internet is architected.
While she admitted it was not impossible, she said it would create a range of
other issues and that removing the ability for anonymity or to use a pseudonym is unlikely to deter cyberbullying and the like. Similarly, she said, if the social media sites were to implement a real names policy, it wouldn't be effective given the way
the systems are set up. She added:
I would also suspect there would be huge civil libertarian pushback in the US.
I think there are incremental steps we could make, I think totally getting rid
of anonymity or even [the use of] pseudonyms on the internet is going to be a very hard thing to achieve.
I want to be pragmatic here about what's in the realm of the possible, it would be great if everyone had a name tag online
so they couldn't do things without [consequence].