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Australia Censorship News

2015: Oct-Dec

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Bizarre Bazaar Ban...

Australian supermarket bans fashion magazine

Link Here19th December 2015
The Australian supermarket Cole's has banned the latest issue of fashion magazine, Harper's Bazaar .

Cole's cited easily offended customer and justified the censorship in a statement:

We didn't think the cover was appropriate for our stores so the decision was made.\

He added that customer feedback prompted the dumping.

Later a spokesman refused to comment on why the cover, shot by renowned fashion photographer Steven Chee and featuring Miranda Kerr standing in a pair of stilettos, covering her naked breasts with her arm,

Miranda Kerr's management has fired back at Coles questioning the motives of the supermarket's censorship. Kerr's manager Annie Kelly said:

There have been numerous examples of similar covers sold without restriction that celebrate and support women and this is no different. They seem to have used it to get publicity during the busiest trading time of the year.



Cogs set in motion...

The Australian Senate will report by December next year on the harms to children from internet porn

Link Here7th December 2015
Australian Senators Bullock, Lindgren and Madigan have obtained agreement to a motion calling for the Environment and Communications Legislation Committee to report on Harm being done to Australian children through access to pornography on the Internet. The report is due in December 2016.

The motion submitted and passed reads:

(1) That the Senate notes that:

  • (a) in today's culture, children's use of smart phones, tablets and computers has increased markedly;
  • (b) online pornography is easily accessed, and a growing number of children are viewing it at an early age;
  • (c) recent studies have shown that exposure to pornography has measurable negative effects on brain development and behavioural outcomes;
  • (d) online pornography is increasingly violent in its content, particularly against women, and exposure correlates with children's acceptance of violent attitudes and beliefs;
  • (e) violence against women is often linked back to early and repeated exposure to pornography;
  • (f) violence towards, and abuse of, children is often linked to early and repeated exposure to pornography;
  • (g) children increasingly access the Internet outside their home environment; and
  • (h) previous inquiries in Australia have not adequately addressed the question of children's (those under 18 years-of-age) exposure to online pornography and the harm caused because of that access.

(2) That the following matter be referred to the Environment and Communications Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by the first sitting day in December 2016:

Harm being done to Australian children through access to pornography on the Internet, with particular reference to:

  • (a) trends of online consumption of pornography by children and their impact on the development of healthy and respectful relationships;
  • (b) current methods taken towards harm minimisation in other jurisdictions, and the effectiveness of those methods;
  • (c) the identification of any measures with the potential for implementation in Australia; and
  • (d) any other related matters.



A Dash to Censorship...

Australian telecoms company Telstra censors strong language from voice-to-text messages

Link Here30th November 2015
Australian phone company Telstra has decided to censor strong language from voice-to-text messages. "fuck' and 'cunt' will now be replaced by long dashes.

Such censorship is not unprecedented, as Apple has been changing "fuck' to duck on preemptive text messages since the iPhones emerged. But the Australia-based carrier had bigger plans, completely blocking out expletives.

The difference this time is that Telstra opted to use symbols as the substitutes for swear words instead of automatically rewording them like in Apple's case. This development may entail more effort on the users' part to decipher the meaning of the censored words.



Mature Thinking...

Australia set to change TV watershed rules to allow M rated ('PG-15') material from 7:30pm

Link Here26th November 2015
Australia is updating its rules for its TV watershed.

Australia's TV censors of the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) are revising TV watershed rules from 1st December 2015.

A revised Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice will bring forward the watershed for M-Rated programs on free-to-air networks by an hour to 7:30pm. The shift is expected to have a significant knock on effect for the networks enabling them to bring more edgy programming on earlier in the evening.

The Australian M rating is an advisory rating recommending that content is suitable for those 15 years an old.

The code, drafted by Free TV and approved by ACMA, aims to account for the much freer access consumers have to TV content through both platforms and delivery methods that has rendered time restrictions for programming less relevant.

ACMA chairman Chris Chapman said the code had been designed to give consumers a greater role in choosing what they wanted to watch and when. he said:

The digital era has also brought challenges for viewers, and the new code is designed to assist them to better manage their own viewing in an environment in which responsibility will be increasingly shared between government, industry and, importantly, viewers.



Gayby Baby Ban...

Complaints about a News South Wales schools ban on a documentary film about a family with gay parents

Link Here4th November 2015
Gayby Baby is a 2015 Australia family documentary by Maya Newell.
Starring David Rawle, Brendan Gleeson and Lisa Hannigan. Youtube link IMDb

The documentary film follows the lives of four kids whose parents all happen to be gay. As they each wrestle with the onset of puberty, the outside world wrestles with the issue of marriage equality and whether or not kids of same-sex families are at risk.

The New South Wales (NSW) Education Minister had banned schools from screening the film in August. Now documents obtained under freedom of information laws reveal that the NSW Government has received 85 complaints about the films.

In total, 55 messages were received congratulating the Premier and the Minister for their courageous decision and for being men of principle in preventing the film from being shown in school time, eg:

God bless you for standing up to protect our lovely children from those who in the name of the 'freedom to be naughty' would seek to enslave them into a lifetime of weird unproductive sexuality.

The others complained about the ban. One complaint read:

Today you did something unconscionable. Today you told thousands of children across this state that they should be embarrassed about who they are.  The ramifications of this are on your shoulders.

Fairfax Media revealed in September that the attack on the film was fuelled by a Presbyterian minister who had the scripture classes he oversaw at the school cut back last year.



115 Lashes...

The Australian Classification Board releases its annual report and of course its top films as judged by the amount of complaints

Link Here2nd November 2015
The Australian film censor has release the Annual Report for 2014 - 15. Notable perhaps for a reduction in X18+ (reserved for hardcore sex) certificates to just 3. And of course it is always traditional to list the handful of complaints about film classifications:

The Classification Board received 115 complaints about the classifications of films. This compares with 93 complaints in 2013-14.

There were 18 complaints about Fifty Shades of Grey . The complainants were of the view that the MA 15+ classification with consumer advice of Strong sex scenes, sexual themes and nudity was too low due to the depictions of implied sexual activity in the film.

There were 12 complaints about the film Paddington . The complainants were of the view that the G classification was too low due to the depictions of violence and scary themes.

The film Gone Girl , which was classified MA 15+ with the consumer advice Strong sexualised violence, blood, sex scenes and coarse language , attracted 10 complaints in the reporting period. The complainants believed the film's classification was too low due to the depictions of sex, violence and sexual violence in the film. Two complainants thought the consumer advice was insufficient.

There were eight complaints about Kingsmen: The Secret Service. The complainants were of the view that the MA 15+ classification was too low due to the depictions of violence in the film.

The film The House of Magic which was classified G with the consumer advice Some scary scenes received five complaints. The complainants felt that the classification was too low. The complainants considered that the film was too scary for young children.

Overall, the remainder of complaints were about a small number of titles.



Update: Last words...

Australia's Zoo magazine aims its final message at feminists and prudes

Link Here16th October 2015
Full story: Collective Shout...Nutter campaigners against sexualisation and the like
Australia's extreme feminist group, Collective Shout!, claim that Zoo magazine's final gesture is aimed at them, claiming:

Now defunct Lad's Mag Zoo Weekly devoted its final issue to us with this cover.

Activist Laura Pintur crowed:

We were pleased to report that after our successful campaign to get sexploitation mag Zoo Weekly out of Coles supermarkets Bauer Media announced the sexist lads mag was closing.

This week Zoo Weekly released their last edition ever. We're glad that pornographers will have one less outlet now to push porn to underage boys.



A bit too much for the easily offended...

Cosmetics store 'offends' over unphotoshopped adverts

Link Here13th October 2015
Lush cosmetics stores in Australia and New Zealand make a selling point of being handmade and with green credentials such as natural products and minimal packaging.

The company decided to emphasise these features in a Go Naked advertising campaign. Featuring completely natural photos of four women's naked behinds, the images represent the company's use of as little packaging as possible. The ads features women of varying body shapes and sizes, including some of Lush's staff members. The aim was to showcase real, beautiful, un-Photoshopped, unaltered women .

But the in-store posters have been reported as somehow pornographic . A few people have whinged to the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) in Australia because they claim the campaign is sexualised. The ASB has reported complaints claiming that the image is:

Pornographic in nature and shows naked woman touching other naked women and it is shown in a public place.

People have also expressed concern about children viewing the sexualised snaps, as they appear in public shopping centres.

Thankfully the ASB has ruled that the images were not pornographic or of a sexual nature. However, the advert censors added:

The full body images and the fact that there are four women rather than an individual meant that the overall impact was increased and was confronting.

The poster has since been removed from stores. However, the nude images are still being used on Lush's website and social media sites.



No gherkins please!...

Australian local council censors street mural depicting a hamburger orgy

Link Here3rd October 2015
Melbourne's 20-foot-tall mural featuring what can only be described as a hamburger orgy will be short-lived. The local council has opted to edit Kama Sutra Burger, a work by street artist Mike Maka, better known as Makatron, to obscure the work's sexual imagery.

The painting, commissioned by a local business owner in Brunswick, depicts a massive, multi-layer hamburger, with writhing nudes nestled among the all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions--on a sesame seed bun.

The artist has described the work to Mashable as:

A comment on how media uses sex to sell anything, especially women's bodies. It's a mash up celebration of human diversity, body shapes, colors and tastes of all types of people.

Moreland mayor Meghan Hopper told the Guardian:

Art is certainly in the eye of the beholder ,...BUT... our arts and culture team does think there are a couple of parts of the image that might have crossed a few lines,.

The street artist will be selling uncensored t-shirts featuring the original mural design in all its orgasmic, beefy glory.

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