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No Turkish friends...

Facebook takes on the Turkish government about new internet censorship requirements


Link Here6th October 2020
Full story: Internet Censorship in Turkey...Website blocking insults the Turkish people
Facebook's human rights team said it would not comply with a controversial social media law passed in Ankara this summer.

The bill requires social media companies with more than 1 million daily users in Turkey to appoint representatives in the country, store user data locally and comply with state content removal requests, among other measures, by Oct. 1 or face steep fines and domestic access blocks on their platforms.

In Turkey, where 90 to 95% of traditional media outlets are run by the government or government-friendly entities, social media platforms remain one of the few mediums for free expression in the country. Since the passing of a new social media law in late July, the future of free speech on such platforms has been in limbo as social media giants consider their options to continue operating in the country.

Twitter and Google have yet to respond to the legislation, passing an Oct. 1 deadline to open an office in Turkey and appoint a representative that would be subject to local tax codes and content removal requests from the Turkish authorities.

The Turkish internet censor will now issue warnings to noncompliant companies before issuing a growing scale of punishments, ranging from fines of $1.3 million in November to $3.8 million in December, before local advertisement bans are imposed in January, followed by bandwidth throttling in April and May that would eventually render the platforms unusable in Turkey.

 

 

Catty censors...

Iranian stage play censored over the presence of a cat on stage


Link Here23rd September 2020
The presence of a cat in a play staged in Tehran by the prominent Iranian director Mohammad Rahmanian has unleashed the country's censorship authorities to ban the production.

The six-episode play, Love in Days of Corona [virus] , starring Mahtab Nasirpour, Sima Tirandaz, and Behnoosh Tabataba'ei, was blocked after three nights due to censorship issues.

In a statement read to the audience at the beginning of the fourth night of the show, Rahmanian announced:

By the 'will' and demand of the Supervisory Council of the Dramatic Arts Center and the Director-General of the Dramatic Arts department, a part of the six-episode play, the 'Lady and the Cute Cat,' starring Behnoush Tabataba'ei, is facing supervisory issues, and eliminated.

Love in Days of Corona[virus] inspired by Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Love in the Time of Cholera premiered in the courtyard of Vahdat Hall on Thursday, September 17.

 

 

Updated: Less Cuties...

Turkey's TV censor says it will block the movie Cuties from showing on the local Netflix service


Link Here10th September 2020
Full story: Netflix Censorship...Streaming TV to a variety of censorship regimes
Cuties ( Mignonnes) is a 2020 France comedy drama by Maïmouna Doucouré.
Starring Fathia Youssouf, Médina El Aidi-Azouni and Esther Gohourou. BBFC link IMDb

Amy, an 11-year-old girl, joins a group of dancers named "the cuties" at school, and rapidly grows aware of her burgeoning femininity - upsetting her mother and her values in the process.

The Turkish government has said it will order Netflix to block local access to the movie Cuties. The country's TV censor claims the film contains images of child exploitation. Turkey's Family Ministry had previously said the film may cause children to be open to negligence and abuse, and negatively impact their psychosocial development.

Cuties is due to launch in the country on September 9. The movie was at the center of a furor last month when Netflix launched the film's international poster, which was widely criticized for sexualizing children. Netflix quickly apologized and removed the offending artwork, but not before the film was lynched on social media.

Update: BBFC rated

10th September 2020.

The Netflix UK release has been BBFC 15 rated uncut for rude humour, threat, dangerous behaviour, bullying, violence.

Update: New Zealand rating

20th September 2020. See article from classificationoffice.govt.nz

The New Zealand Office of Film and Literature Classification recommended Netflix make Cuties 16+ with a warning note: Violence, sexual references, bullying and offensive language.

 

Update: Questions in the Egyptian House

24th September 2020. See article from al-monitor.com

Egyptian member of parliament John Talaat submitted Sept. 5 a parliamentary question to Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem in regard to the role of the Censorship of Works of Art (CACWA) in the content broadcast on Netflix.

Some of these works carry transgressions and abuses that the Egyptian society does not accept, and the censorship standards must be strictly applied to any artwork that is allowed to be broadcast in Egypt, Talaat said in a Sept. 5 statement.

In an Aug. 25 article in Al-Masry Al-Youm , journalist Suleiman Joudeh called on the Ministry of Culture and official bodies to review the works broadcast on Netflix .

Netflix's works have sparked controversy time and again, the latest of which was the film Cuties that topped Egypt's Google search list on Sept. 13, after it arrived at the platform and was criticized for depicting children in a sexual and inappropriate way.

 

 

Updated: A new chapter in book censorship...

Kuwait ends pre-publication book vetting by censors


Link Here26th August 2020
The Kuwait News Agency reports that the country's parliament approved an amendment to publishing censorship laws on August 19 that removes the need for regulatory approval for books before they enter the Kuwaiti market.

With the amendment now in place, book importers and international publishers just have to provide book titles and author lists to the Ministry of Information, with the understanding that they bear legal responsibility if a book's subject matter contravenes Kuwaiti law.

Legal action against a particular book will now only be triggered by an official complaint from the public. Furthermore, a book ban can only be given by the courts, as opposed to the Ministry of Information.

The move has been hailed by Kuwaiti writers, and international and regional literary bodies.

Update: 5000 censored books

26th August 2020. See article from indianexpress.com

And just to emphasise the significance of the change, the Guardian reports that the Kuwait book censors had banned 5000 books in the 7 years prior to this change. These banned books included One Hundred Years of Solitude and Hunchback of Notre Dame .


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