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2022: Jan-March

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Australian censorship board bans video game

Link Here4th March 2022
Full story: Banned Games in Australia...Games and the Australian Censorship Board
RimWorld is a 2018 Canada building simulation game by Ludeon Studios

The game was recently banned by the games censors of the Australian Classification Board. The ban applied to gaming consoles. The censors did not specify why the games is banned, just the usual worthless all encompassing stock statement.

At the time, everyone thought the PC version would remain unaffected, including developer Ludeon Studios who wrote:

We did not expect this to affect the Steam version because in previous similar cases, as with Disco Elysium for example, a Refused Classification (RC) rating on a console version did not affect the availability of the PC version on Steam.

I'm sorry this news was so sudden and for anyone who is frustrated by this, Ludeon Studios said. We are working to resolve this situation and make RimWorld available to everyone again as soon as possible, but we don't yet know what that might require or how long it may take.

Australian users that purchased RimWorld at any point from its debut way back in 2013 can still access the game. New buyers, however, will now have to buy the game directly from the official RimWorld website.

On March 4th Refused Classification reported that the 'Refused Classification' has mysteriously been removed from the censors' database. No doubt an explanation will soon follow.



Australia's Online 'Safety' Bill endangers sex workers...

Sex workers' social media site Switter is forced to shut down in anticipation of new censorship laws

Link Here 13th February 2022
Full story: Internet Censorship in Australia...Wide ranging state internet censorship
A social media platform for sex workers with close to half a million users globally has shut down over legal concerns regarding online safety laws and the Australian government's social media defamation legislation.

Switter, which runs on Twitter-replica Mastodon, was set up by an Australian collective of sex workers and technologists, Assembly Four, in 2018 in response to the anti-sex trafficking legislation known as Sesta/Fosta in the United States.

Switter works as a safe space by, and for, sex workers, with little concern that their content or accounts will be censored. On the site, sex workers can find each other, share safety information, find clients and find out legal information or service availability.

However, the managers of the site have announced that they had decided to shut down immediately, telling its more than 420,000 users the raft of online safety and defamation laws in the US, UK and Australia made it difficult to keep the platform running. A letter from the management explains:

The recent anti-sex work and anti-LGBTQIA+ legislative changes not only in Australia, but in the UK, US and other jurisdictions have made it impossible for us to appropriately and ethically maintain compliance over 420,690+ users,.

Another concern leading to the shut down is the prospect of the Australian government's so-called social media anti-trolling legislation. The legislation, which will make platforms liable for defamation if they do not help to unmask an account making defamatory comments, would place a platform like Switter in the position of potentially having sex workers or their clients' anonymity removed in a time when they can still face discrimination from banks, housing and other institutions for the work.

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