Melon Farmers Original Version

Political Correctness vs. Free Speech


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Correct English...

The BBC demands that programme makers get permission from divisional directors before using racial slurs


Link Here30th September 2020
The BBC has issued staff new guidance on the use of racist language in the wake of the controversy provoked by the use of a racial slur in a news report.

Use of the strongest racist language, as defined by broadcasting regulator Ofcom, must be personally approved by the corporation's divisional directors. There must be exceptional editorial reasons to use the strongest racist terms, the updated guidance reads.

The new guidance says the use of racist language must be editorially justified, and signposted, to ensure it meets audience expectations, wherever it appears.

It says the editorial justification test would now carry a presumption that such language will not normally be used unless a judgement at divisional director level had ruled otherwise.

 

 

Building division...

The government states its position on claims about British history being considered as toxic


Link Here29th September 2020
Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has been writing to museums and libraries about policies in the face of claims of British history being now considered as toxic. Dowden explained the Government position::

History is ridden with moral complexity. Statues and other historical objects were created by generations with different perspectives and understandings of right and wrong. Some represent figures who have said or done things which we may find deeply offensive and would not defend today. But though we may now disagree with those who created them or who they represent, they play an important role in teaching us about our past, with all its faults.

It is for this reason that the Government does not support the removal of statues or other similar objects . Historic England, as the Government's adviser on the historic environment, have said that removing difficult and contentious parts of it risks harming our understanding of our collective past. Rather than erasing these objects, we should seek to contextualise or reinterpret them in a way that enables the public to learn about them in their entirety, however challenging this may be. Our aim should be to use them to educate people about all aspects of Britain's complex past, both good and bad.

As set out in your Management Agreements, I would expect Arm's Length Bodies' approach to issues of contested heritage to be consistent with the Government's position. Further, as publicly funded bodies, you should not be taking actions motivated by

activism or politics. The significant support that you receive from the taxpayer is an acknowledgement of the important cultural role you play for the entire country. It is imperative that you continue to act impartially, in line with your publicly funded status, and not in a way that brings this into question. This is especially important as we enter a challenging Comprehensive Spending Review, in which all government spending will rightly be scrutinised.

 

 

Commented: The art of timing...

Philip Guston art exhibition postponed 4 years after references to Ku Klux Klan figures were considered untimely


Link Here28th September 2020
One of the most hotly anticipated blockbuster exhibitions on the art world's horizon has been pushed back after organizers raised concerns over images evoking racist violence in certain works. After its original planned summer opening was delayed until 2021 because of the pandemic, a high-profile Philip Guston retrospective organized by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., Tate Modern in London, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston has now been put on hold for four years.

A joint statement signed by directors of all four museums said the exhibition was being pushed until a time at which we think that the powerful message of social and racial justice that is at the center of Philip Guston's work can be more clearly interpreted:

We recognize that the world we live in is very different from the one in which we first began to collaborate on this project five years ago. The racial justice movement that started in the U.S. and radiated to countries around the world, in addition to challenges of a global health crisis, have led us to pause.

Organizers raised concerns over painful imagery including the recurring Ku Klux Klan characters that appear in Guston's late-period works. Twenty-five such drawings and paintings featuring KKK imagery were to be included in one or more iterations of the show.

 

Update: Opposition

28th September 2020. See article from news.artnet.com

The postponement has been met with opposition from Musa Mayer, the artist's daughter and head of the Guston Foundation. Mayer said in a statement:

Half a century ago, my father made a body of work that shocked the art world. Not only had he violated the canon of what a noted abstract artist should be painting at a time of particularly doctrinaire art criticism, but he dared to hold up a mirror to white America, exposing the banality of evil and the systemic racism we are still struggling to confront today.

They plan, they plot, they ride around in cars smoking cigars. We never see their acts of hatred. We never know what is in their minds. But it is clear that they are us. Our denial, our concealment. My father dared to unveil white culpability, our shared role in allowing the racist terror that he had witnessed since boyhood, when the Klan marched openly by the thousands in the streets of Los Angeles.

The art historian and curator Darby English told the New York Times that the decision to postpone the show was cowardly and patronizing, an insult to art and the public alike:

Guston's paintings were thoughtfully created in identification with history's victims, English said, adding that it should be part of one's attitude to see them as opportunities to think, to improve thinking, to sharpen perception, to talk to one another, and not to grimly proceed with one's head in the sand, avoiding difficult conversations because you think the timing is bad.

 

 

Killing Whitey...

BBC responds to complaints about a joke on Frankie Boyle's New World Order


Link Here26th September 2020
Full story: Frankie Boyle...Whinges about Frankie Boyle and Mock the Week
The BBC received complaints about a joke on Frankie Boyle's New World Order where a black comedian, Sophie Duker, jokingly supported the idea of 'killing whitey'.

In a segment where the panelists discuss if the movement glosses over the complexities of a world where we all need to come together and kill whitey, Boyle played a clip of black author James Baldwin talking about black power in an interview on the Dick Cavett Show in the 1970s.

Responding to the clip, Duker said white power is Trump Tower - a nod to Left-wing allegations that the US President is a racist.

She continued: But when we say we want to kill whitey, we don't really mean we want to kill whitey. Duker then quips to the panelists we do to roars of laughter.

The BBC has now responded on its website to the complaints, as always without explaining what the complaints were about. The BBC wrote:

We received complaints from people who felt comments made during the programme were offensive.

Our response

Frankie Boyle's New World Order was shown after 10pm and its content is within audience expectations for a post-watershed, topical, satirical programme from a comedian whose style and tone are well-established.

Every week on the show Frankie puts forward a number of topics for debate, this episode was no different. The panellists' comments were in response to a motion that was written and presented in line with the programme's tone and style.

Sophie Duker is a talented comedian and a regular panellist on Frankie Boyle's New World Order, and we look forward to continue working with her at the BBC.

Update: Another joke

28th September 2020. See article from irishmirror.ie

Frankie Boyle defended by BBC after Priti Patel joke sparks a few more complaints.

The comedian joked that the Home Secretary is the one woman in Britain who can orgasm by imagining a slow puncture at sea in reference to the refugee crisis

 

 

Offsite Article: Black Butts Matter...


Link Here26th September 2020
Portland's Stripper Strike is over a fair crack for all performers, but does this clash with a right for customers to be turned on by whoever they like?

See article from vogue.com

 

 

Offsite Article: Cancelling cancel culture...


Link Here26th September 2020
School pupils will be taught that cancel culture is a form of bullying and no platforming an attack on our freedoms

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

 

Commented: Intent to censor...

Scottish Injustice Secretary agrees to remove the worst part of his disgraceful speech censorship bill


Link Here24th September 2020
Full story: Scotland stifles free speech...Hate Crime & Public Order (Scot) Bill Hate Crime & Public Order (Scot) Bill
A disgraceful speech censorship bill will be tweaked to remove at least they very worst parts of the bill. Injustice Secretary Humza Yousaf admitted they would curb freedom of speech.

The SNP minister says that the censorship will only apply to those with intent to stir up hatred against any group.  Previously the hatred would be as perceived by the easily offended. A disaster in the modern world where people claim offence at the  most trivial hint of an insult. Think religious offence of so called micro-aggressions or unconscious bias etc.

Yousaf said:

There is a real risk that if the offences don't require intent to stir up hatred, there could be a perception and indeed uncertainty that the operation of this aspect of the offences may be used to prosecute what are entirely legitimate acts of expression.

This in itself might lead to an element of self-censorship. This is not the aim of the legislation.

The Hate Crime Bill also adds new characteristics to the law, such as age and sex, but it was claimed the plans will curb civil liberties, criminalise comedy and even target religious books.

Yousaf  said that he is still pushing ahead with the bill. He confirmed the government will amend the Bill at the next stage of scrutiny, when MSPs start going through the plans line by line.

Opposition Tory MSPs said they want to see even bigger changes before the laws can be passed with support at Holyrood. Jamie Gillies, spokesman for the Free to Disagree Campaign against the stirring up plans, said:

There's still too low a threshold for offending, the wording is hopelessly vague, free speech provisions are inadequate, there is no 'dwelling defence', and people outside Scotland could be caught.

Withdrawing the 'stirring up' offences wholesale is the only way to resolve these complex issues and ensure that other, vital civil liberties are upheld. The fact that the government hasn't done this means opposition to the bill will continue for months to come. It's a missed opportunity.

Offsite Comment: Plan to amend Scottish hate crime bill isn't enough

24th September 2020. See article from secularism.org.uk

The National Secular Society has welcomed news that Scotland's current hate crime bill will be amended, but warned that offences within the bill remain a menace to free and open debate.

 

 

Black Cars Matter...

Advert censor sees red at unpolitically correct joke


Link Here23rd September 2020

A Facebook post by the car leasing company, LINGsCars, posted on 16 June 2020, included the text ***BLACK***. In light of recent events, I'm resurrecting my Audi deal. The ad featured the image BLACK CARS MATTER. I ASKED HOLLY FOR A HEADLINE FOR THIS A4...AND SHE SAID: 'ONCE YOU GO BLACK, YOU NEVER GO BACK!'. The ad then featured an image of a black raised hand with a wristband displaying the Audi logo alongside an image of a black Audi. Text stated AUDI A4 BLACK POWER EDITION. Further text stated MANUAL GEARBOX (BIG GEARKNOB).

Three complainants, who believed the image of the claims Black Cars Matter, Once you go black, you never go back and the image of the raised fist were insensitive and offensive, challenged whether the ad was likely to cause serious offence and was socially irresponsible.

Response Lingscars.com Ltd believed Black cars matter was inoffensive. They said the phrase was a pun on the launch of the new car, the Audi Black Edition, and that Once you go black, you never go back was a well-known phrase that would not be offensive to black people. They said the image of the raised fist was the symbol of the Black Power movement; they argued it was a positive symbol and was not seen as offensive in other contexts, such as the recent Grand Prix where Lewis Hamilton raised his fist.

ASA Assessment Complaints upheld

The ASA noted that the ad appeared shortly after the Black Lives Matter protests and during a public debate about racism in the UK. We considered that people would understand the headline BLACK CARS MATTER, the image of the raised fist and the name Audi A4 Black Power Edition to be references to the Black Lives Matter and Black Power movements. By using that slogan and iconography simply to draw attention to an ad for a car had the effect of trivialising the serious issues raised by those movements. The claim, ONCE YOU GO BLACK, YOU NEVER GO BACK! in addition to the claim BIG GEARKNOB, we also considered was likely to be seen as objectifying and fetishising black men. Because those claims, particularly in the context of an ad for an unrelated product alongside references to recent protests opposing racism against black people, were likely to cause serious offence on the grounds of race, we considered the ad was socially irresponsible. We therefore concluded that the ad breached the Code. The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 1.3 1.3 Advertisements must comply with the law and broadcasters must make that a condition of acceptance.

The ad must not appear again in its current form.

 

 

And Then There Were None...

France is the last country to change the controversial title of an Agatha Christie novel


Link Here23rd September 2020
The great-grandson of the British novelist Agatha Christie, James Pritchard, has belatedly decided to change the French title of the book 'Ten Little Niggers'. An initiative taken many years ago in the English speaking world. Since the 1980s the book has been titled 'And Then There Were None'.

Now the book, which was originally published in 1939, has just been retitled in France from 'Dix petits nègres' to 'Ils étaient dix'  (They Were Ten).

Pritchard commented:

This story is based on a popular nursery rhyme that is not signed by Agatha Christie. I'm pretty sure the original title was never used in the US. In the UK it was changed in the 1980s and today we change it everywhere.

Agatha Christie was above all there to entertain and she would not have liked the idea of someone being hurt by one of her turns of phrase (...) If only one person felt this, it would already be too much! We must no longer use terms that could hurt: this is the behavior to adopt in 2020. "

In addition to the title an island in the book, called the Île du Nègre is also changing its name. The word "negro" appears 74 times in the text and all of these have been revised.

 

 

Strictly virtue signalling...

BBC responds to complaints about same sex dancers on Strictly Come Dancing


Link Here19th September 2020

Strictly Come Dancing
BBC One, September 2020

We've received complaints from some viewers about a same-sex pairing on the programme.

Our response

Strictly Come Dancing is an inclusive show and is proud to have featured same sex dancing amongst the professional dancers in group numbers in previous series.

We have stated, in the past, that we are open to the prospect of including same sex pairings between our celebrities and professional dancers, should the opportunity arise.

Nicola Adams requested an all-female pairing, which we are happy to facilitate. The show is first and foremost about dance, the sex of each partner within a coupling should have no bearing on their routine.

 

 

Offsite Article: New World Order: The battle of the snowflakes...


Link Here18th September 2020
Full story: Frankie Boyle...Whinges about Frankie Boyle and Mock the Week
This right-wing outrage culture is not helping the fight against wokeness. By Tom Slate

See article from spiked-online.com

 

 

Updated: Britain's got no talent for speaking openly about sensitive issues...

24,500 people complain to Ofcom about a Black Lives Matter dance performance on Britain's Got Talent


Link Here 17th September 2020
Full story: UK TV Talent Shows...A talent for whingeing
Britain's Got Talent has been the subject of 10,267 viewer complaints from furious viewers over an act on the show. This is the second highest tally of complaints in the last ten years.

Ashley Banjo led the Diversity dance troupe in a Black Lives Matter routine. The performance, which saw Jordan's brother Ashley lying on the floor with a white police officer kneeling on him , referenced the death of George Floyd in the US. There were also backing dancers performing dressed in riot gear and the group took the knee during the performance.

Ashley reported that he had received a barrage of abuse over the performance. He tweeted:

So much to say... But I'll Just let the performance talk. Thousands of messages of Love and support - Thank you. For the thousands of messages of hate and ignorance - Thank you. You highlight exactly what needs to change. Sending nothing but love to you all. 

The Sun seemed a little reluctant to describe what the complaints were about but summarised that they were insisting that a political statement had no place on the talent show.

Update: More complaints

16th September 2020. See article from news.sky.com

TV censor Ofcom has confirmed the number of complaints for Britain's Got Talent have continue to rise over the weekend and now stand at 23,308.

 An ITV spokesman responded to the complaints:

Britain's Got Talent has always been an inclusive show, which showcases diversity and supports strong storytelling in all forms and ITV stands behind the decision to broadcast Diversity's performance on BGT.

Ashley and the group are a great example of the talent, creativity and diversity of modern Britain and their performance was an authentic, heartfelt response to many of the issues and events which have affected society in 2020.

Update: Ofcom dismisses the complaints

17th September 2020. See report [pdf] from ofcom.org.uk

Ofcom received approximately 24,500 complaints about this performance on Britain's Got Talent.

We also received a number of messages of support and praise for the performance. In summary, the complaints about the performance raised a range of concerns, including that it:

  • was unsuitable for a family audience due to themes of violence and racism;
  • encouraged societal division and was racist towards White people;
  • negatively portrayed White police officers, including in a depiction of the death of George Floyd, and encouraged violence against the police; and,
  • expressed support for the political organisation Black Lives Matter.
Ofcom has assessed this programme against the relevant rules in the Broadcasting Code. Our assessment is that this programme did not raise any issues which warranted investigation. In our view, Diversity's performance was an artistic expression of topical social issues and did not contain any content which was racist, unsuitably violent or otherwise inappropriate in the context of this programme.

Given the significant publicity surrounding this case and the high volume of complaints received, we have decided to publish our reasons for this assessment.

 

 

What's in a name?...

Censoring an oblique reference to trans recognition


Link Here15th September 2020
An advertising poster reading I love JK Rowling at Edinburgh's railway station was censored for being too political and supposedly offensive.

Network Rail confirmed that the digital advertisement had been taken down because it breached its policy by promoting a political viewpoint. A Newtwork Rail source told the Times:

While the words were harmless, their context -- an acrimonious argument on social media between the author and her critics who accuse her of transphobia -- was likely to cause offence.

The poster had been bought by  a campaigner against reform of gender recognition laws.

Now the debate has moved onto Canada where a larger billboard version of the same poster has been taken down citing similar concerns about unwanted political controversy.

IN the meantime JK Rowlings has made an eloquent appeal for calm. She blogged:

I believe the majority of trans-identified people not only pose zero threat to others, but are vulnerable for all the reasons I've outlined. Trans people need and deserve protection.

All I'm asking -- all I want -- is for similar empathy, similar understanding, to be extended to the many millions of women whose sole crime is wanting their concerns to be heard without receiving threats and abuse.

 

 

Hating censorship...

Bid to ban man hating book in France inevitably leads to increased sales


Link Here12th September 2020
Sales of a French feminist book entitled I Hate Men have gone through the roof after a government official tried to have the work banned for inciting gender hatred.

Pauline Harmange's essay Moi les hommes, je les déteste explores whether women have good reason to hate men, arguing that this type of anger could actually be a joyful and liberating path, if it is allowed to be expressed.

While the work was expected to generate modest sales of a few hundred copies, its first three print runs were quickly snapped up after an adviser to France's gender equality ministry threatened the small publishing house Monstrograph with legal action if it didn't remove the offending material from shelves.

Presumably in response to the publicity, the ministry has now distanced itself from the matter, saying that the adviser was speaking in a personal capacity.

The book's publisher responded:

This book is not at all an incitement to hatred ... The title is provocative, but the subject matter is measured. It's an invitation not to force oneself to date or deal with men. At no time does the author incite violence.

 

 

Extract: Stop deleting our comedy shows -- what we watch shouldn't be heavily restricted...

TV is now a battleground for society's culture wars. The new director of the BBC might axe left-wing comedy, but humour exposes what defines, unites and divides us


Link Here8th September 2020

Only a few months ago, in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, producers at major channels and streaming services quickly made moves to clear their catalogues of anything that could be perceived as racist. In this rush, the most iconic episode of Fawlty Towers was removed. It later reappeared with a warning at the start.

At Index on Censorship, as part of a report in the upcoming autumn issue, we did a tally of just how many shows had been taken off air. The result? Dozens. And some of the biggest as well. On the BBC, Little Britain was taken down in its entirety. The same fate befell Bo' Selecta! from All4. Other has-beens include episodes from 30 Rock and Scrubs .

...Read the full article from independent.co.uk

 

 

Hating free speech...

Nicola Sturgeon acknowledges significant criticism of her disgraceful 'hate crime' censorship bill


Link Here4th September 2020
Full story: Scotland stifles free speech...Hate Crime & Public Order (Scot) Bill Hate Crime & Public Order (Scot) Bill
Nicola Sturgeon has suggested disgraceful censorship proposals could be overhauled to listen to concerns that new laws will diminish freedom of speech.

The plans have faced criticism from a range of voices over worries that freedom of speech will be eroded. The Scottish parliament's justice committee received almost 2,000 submissions in response to a consultation on the bill. The committee's convener has described this response as unprecedented.

Even the police criticised the plans. The Scottish Police Federation has said ministers have grossly underestimated policing costs associated with the bill.

Sturgeon said in a speech to the Scottish Parliament:

I want to give an assurance that we will listen carefully. Freedom of speech and expression is fundamental in any democracy.

There's really good reasons why we need to make sure we've got laws in this country that are capable of tackling hate crime because it is pernicious and horrible and we should have zero tolerance to it.

We've got to do that in a way that respects and protects people's legitimate freedom of speech and expression. As with so many really important things we do in society, these are not always straight forward things -- they involve striking balances and they involve getting into the real detail of how we get this right.

We're at the start of a legislative process. I think the right thing to do is to listen to concerns, to go through the committee scrutiny process and if there are amendments we need to make to reassure people who have legitimate concerns, we certainly give an undertaking to do that.

We hear these concerns and we want to navigate a way through this bill that does what we want to do around hate crime but doesn't leave people thinking the legitimate right to freedom of speech is being compromised.

 

 

Updated: Warning: this product contains nuts...

Distributors of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure add ludicrous PC caption about outdated stereotypes


Link Here3rd September 2020
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure is a 1989 USA comedy Sci-Fi romance by Stephen Herek.
Starring Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter and George Carlin. BBFC link IMDb

Ted Theodore Logan (Keanu Reeves) and Bill S. Preston, Esquire (Alex Winter), are in danger of flunking school most heinously if they fail their history exam, and if they do they'll have to break up their totally bodacious band, WYLD STALLYNS. No way!

Mark writes:

I've just bought the new Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure DVD and can report that there is a caption added to the film warning viewers of outdated stereotypes that some people may find offensive.

Basically, we can expect to see it more on DVD's and Blu Ray's, now.

The distributors are Studiocanal. And no doubt their virtue signalling will prove more divisive than curative of social ills.

warning contains nuts 

Update: Flash trigger

3rd September 2020. Thanks to Ben

Flash Gordon had the same warning which seems... extra unnecessary because it was already had a BBFC warning for discriminatory stereotypes. I don't see a problem with these warnings if it means the film itself is uncut.

The trigger warning seems related to the presumption that the Emperor Ming character is poking fun at the Chinese. The warning reads:

flash gordon warning caption

 

 

Adieu liberte...

France will fine people for insulting local politicians


Link Here2nd September 2020
Full story: Free Speech in France...'Liberte' lost in ,modern times
Any insult targeted at a French mayor will now be considered an offence that carries a maximum penalty of community service or a 7,500 euro fine.

Frances minister of 'justice' Eric Dupond-Moretti announced the decision claiming that an insult to a mayor is an insult to France. He promised that from now on there will be a systematic, immediate and proportionate answer to any aggression.

 

 

Updated: The British Wokecasting Corporation...

Tim Davie takes over at the BBC and promises to rein in its political bias


Link Here2nd September 2020
Tim Davie officially takes over from previous BBC Director-General Tony Hall today.

Davie thinks comedy broadcast by the BBC is perceived as targeting the Conservative party more often than it does the left. He strangely omits to mention a similar bias in the BBC's anti-government news shows, notably Emily Maitlis and Newsnight.

The corporation's new director-general is due to outline the issue in his first speech on Thursday. Advance news releases  say the BBC will commit to producing material that is more inclusive of beliefs across the political spectrum.

Davie hopes this will help restore trust and confidence in the public broadcaster as it faces questions over the future of its publicly-funded model.

Sources have said no firm decisions have been made on how the BBC will tackle perceptions of left-wing bias, though they did say some shows would be axed, hopefully this includes Newsnight. In addition, comedy panel shows will be expected to include guests with a broader range of views.

Update: Hope but little glory

2nd September 2020. See article from bbc.co.uk

The BBC has reversed its PC decision not to have Rule, Britannia! and Land of Hope and Glory sung at The Last Night of the Proms. References to slaves were the reason for the ban, but the BBC spouted some unlikely bollox about coronavirus and singing.

The U-turn follows fierce criticism from the prime minister, the British people and much of the press. The original ban had prompted Prime Minister Boris Johnson to intervene:

I cannot believe... that the BBC is saying that they will not sing the words of Land of Hope And Glory or Rule Britannia! as they traditionally do at the end of The Last Night of The Proms.

I think it's time we stopped our cringing embarrassment about our history, about our traditions, and about our culture, and we stopped this general bout of self-recrimination and wetness.

I do think this country is going through an orgy of national embarrassment about some of the things that other people around the world love most about us. People love our traditions and our history with all its imperfections. It's crazy for us to go around trying to censor it. It's absolutely absurd and I think we should speak out loud and proud for the UK and our history.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

Confident forward-looking nations don't erase their history, they add to it.

Now a select group of singers will now perform the songs after all.

The BBC's change of heart seems related to a change of boss with the incoming Tim Davie promising to be less woke than the outgoing Tony Hall.

 

 

Scotland's proposed hate law will disgracefully put an end to free speech...

...But...maybe it will at least put a stop to religious groups spouting hatred about gays and other religions


Link Here 1st September 2020
Full story: Scotland stifles free speech...Hate Crime & Public Order (Scot) Bill Hate Crime & Public Order (Scot) Bill
A disgraceful censorship law proposed by Scotland's Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf has been widely condemned by a wide range of religious and secular organisations. But Atheist Scotland says it could be useful to prevent faith leaders from expressing vitriol against a variety of groups including trans people and homosexuals.

Atheist Scotland's convenor, Ian Stewart, said in a letter to a local newspaper that group planned to monitor scripture, sermons in places of worship and social media accounts and report any hatred to Police Scotland for criminal investigation.

The Christian Institute, which opposes the legislation, warned preachers noting that it could expose church ministers to the risk of prosecution at the instigation of anti-religious zealots.

The law would make stirring up hatred against certain groups a criminal offence, even if a person making the remarks had not intended to do so or made them in private. Those found guilty would face up to seven years in jail.

 

 

MP introduces bill to ban touched up celebrity photos...

As if a natural photo of the 'beautiful people' won't put most people to shame


Link Here 30th August 2020
 Luke EVans being touched up to look good in a photo 
Conservative MP Luke Evans has drawn up a Private Members Bill which would mean celebrities would have to label images which have been digitally altered to change how they look.

Evans, a member of the Health and Social Care Committee and a GP, claimed that edited photos on social media were fuelling a mental health crisis as it was creating a warped view of beauty. Celebrities such as Lauren Goodger and Khloe Kardashian have been criticised for doctoring their photos on Instagram.

 

 

Offsite Article: Scotland's hate crime bill would stifle free speech...


Link Here28th August 2020
Full story: Scotland stifles free speech...Hate Crime & Public Order (Scot) Bill Hate Crime & Public Order (Scot) Bill
The law could criminalise people making jokes or discussing religion and would do more harm than good. By Index on Censorship

See article from indexoncensorship.org

 

 

Offsite Article: Is France turning its back on blasphemy?...


Link Here28th August 2020
Full story: Free Speech in France...'Liberte' lost in ,modern times
France's deep-rooted tradition of unapologetically poking fun at men and gods alike may be in peril

See article from france24.com

 

 

Countdown to offence...

Jamaican officials complain about a clip for an upcoming Countdown skit on the BBC comedy programme Famalam


Link Here24th August 2020
A Jamaican minister is set to make a formal complaint over a BBC Three sketch from the show Famalam , which she has described as outrageous and offensive. Kamina Johnson Smith, Jamaica's minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade, tweeted:

This is outrageous and offensive to the incredible country which I am proud to represent along with every Jamaican at home and within our diaspora... I will immediately be writing formally on this! #StopThisShow

Ramocan told HuffPost UK:

It is unbelievable that the, BBC an institution with an international reputation for trustworthy broadcasting, could find itself in the gutter of promoting such harmful and destructive pornographic material that can only serve to damage the morals and values we seek to encourage in our young people.

This broadcast which serves to tarnish and insult the image of Brand Jamaica must be immediately pulled from the BBC programme. I call on all well-thinking listeners and viewers to join us in this call.

Nathaniel Peat, Global Jamaica Diaspora Council lead for the south UK and chairman of Jamaicans Inspired said:

The program is over sexualised, regressive, discriminatory, derogatory and has stereotypical racist tropes especially at a time when Black Lives matter has highlighted the need for a more balanced and better portrayal of black people in the media.

It is deeply upsetting that the national broadcaster has chosen to promote this highly explicit content on a public forum such as twitter that has exposure to youth as young as 14, what type of image does this set in their minds when there already is a lack of positive black role models that are seen in the British media.

The clip has also been slammed by high commissioner of Jamaica to the United Kingdom Seth George Ramocan, who claimed it serves to tarnish and insult the image of Brand Jamaica.

A preview of the segment titled Jamaican Countdown , a parody of the long-running game show Countdown , includes jokey language used towards the female character selecting numbers and letters. Part of the sketch also shows the silhouette of a man, referencing the stereotype of black men having large penises.

The programme is made with a cast of black British actors, and presumably the programme makers too.

The BBC posted the following response on its website:

Famalam is a well-established, award-nominated BBC Three sketch comedy show that is now in its third series. It stars some of the UK's best comedy talent and explores aspects of contemporary life from a black perspective.

Like many sketch comedy shows Famalam finds humour in a wide range of scenarios and regular viewers who are familiar with the tone of the show will know that it has a reputation for challenging stereotypes and confronting social issues. We can assure you that the intention of this sketch isn't to diminish Jamaican people or Jamaican culture, and nor is there any intention to cause offence.

 

 

A brilliant wheeze...

Pedant campaigners claim that the English language phrasing about being hit by an idea references domestic abuse


Link Here23rd August 2020
Sainsbury's is removing a mug from sale that features the words: The germ of a brilliant idea hit her, after PC campaigners ludicrously claimed that phrase was a call to domestic abuse.

The  mug is decorated with a quote from Roald Dahl's 1988 book Matilda . The full quote reads:

When at last the germ of a brilliant idea hit her, she began to expand on it and lay her plans with the same kind of care the Duke of Wellington had done before the Battle of Waterloo.

The design's emphasis on the words 'brilliant idea' leaves the 'hit her' part of the phrase hanging, and allows for a different interpretation of the two words.

Pictures of the mug circulated on social media and it became the target of the PC lynch mob. Ruth Mason from the campaign group Women's Aid criticised the mug and called on Sainsbury's to pull it from supermarket shelves:

We were dismayed to see the Sainsbury's design with the slogan

This slogan can be read two ways --  and that is the problem. It can be read as the author Roald Dahl wrote in Matilda: 'When at last the germ of a brilliant idea hit her'. However, it can also be read as a trivialisation of the violence that women experience in their own homes.

Perhaps it would be a 'brilliant idea' to change the design and donate to domestic abuse charities instead.

A spokesman for Sainsbury's apologised and confirmed that it is removing the mug from sale said:

We are apologising to customers for any upset this may have caused and working with the Roald Dahl team to remove the mug from sale while the design is reviewed

Offsite Comment: Policing language, controlling thought?

We must resist the attempts to manipulate the meaning of the words we use.

See article from spiked-online.com by Andrew Doyle

 

 

Commented: Expelling hot air from their arses...

HBO Max prefixes the movie Blazing Saddles with a 3 minute morality sermon


Link Here22nd August 2020
Blazing Saddles is currently streaming on HBO Max, along with a preaching introduction that automatically plays before the Mel Brooks classic begins.

An HBO Max spokesprat told The Hollywood Reporter:

The intro was added to ensure that the film was put into the proper social context,

TCM host and University of Chicago cinema and media studies professor Jacqueline Stewart provides the intro to Blazing Saddles. She says:

As the storyline implies the issue of race is front and center in Blazing Saddles. And racist language and attitudes pervade the film. But those attitudes are espoused by characters who are portrayed here as explicitly small-minded, ignorant bigots. The real, and much more enlightened perspective, is provided by the main characters played by Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder.

Offsite comment: Don't even think about cancelling Blazing Saddles

22nd August 2020. See article from spiked-online.com by Brendan O'Neill

HBO Max has put a trigger warning on the Mel Brooks classic. The philistine buffoons.

 

 

Cuties...

Netflix apologises for a movie poster highlighting the dangers of sexualisation of youngsters


Link Here21st August 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. 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.

Netflix has removed a promotional image which showed girls posing in skimpy outfits in a new film called Cuties. The poster for the French drama, along with a trailer, were received from a little online 'outrage' and a petition calling for Netflix to drop it. A petition claiming it sexualizes an 11-year-old for the viewing pleasure of paedophiles attracted 25,000 signatures.

The film itself is not a Netflix production, just a film that was set to be shown on the service. The award-winning drama follows an 11-year-old who joins a dance group. Its maker says it is meant to tackle the issue of sexualisation of young girls.

Netflix has now said it was deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork. Netflix told BBC News:

This was not an accurate representation of the film so the image and description has been updated.

The company later tweeted:

We're deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for Mignonnes/Cuties. It was not OK, nor was it representative of this French film which won an award at Sundance. We've now updated the pictures and description.

But director Maimouna Doucoure has explained that the story aims to highlight how social media pushes girls to mimic sexualised imagery without fully understanding what lies behind it or the dangers involved.

 

 

Is it censorship to take down a censorship covering...

Colorado 'artist' claims that covering up a Union Civil War statue was an 'artwork'


Link Here 21st August 2020
Boulder County, Colorado officials have taken down a black covering that had been draped over a statue depicting a Union Civil War soldier as claiming to be part of an art installation.

Morey Bean claimed his art's intention was to bring to light the injustices inflicted on Native Americans, while showing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Bean said he had applied for permit for his work and was not willing to remove the cover anytime soon. Bean commented:

I think it's institutional censorship, Bean said. It's a comfortable lie that they just don't want to have told. I think everybody, to a great degree, wants to get back to business as usual and that means no controversy. That means sticking with the history we are comfortable with.

Michelle Krezek, the chief of staff for the Boulder County Commissioners' Office, said the installation was removed based on the fact that the use of county property use permit Bean obtained was only for one day. The county is storing the covering for him, until he communicates what he would like done with it.

 

 

Offsite Article: Now companies are banning MAGA hats...


Link Here21st August 2020
A Goodyear tyre plant has forbidden staff from political expression at work -- unless of course it's pro-BLM or pro-LGBT.

See article from spiked-online.com

 

 

Proving the conspiracy...

Facebook bans 790 users connected to QAnon who believe that there are state level organisations conspiring to silence them


Link Here20th August 2020
Full story: Facebook Censorship since 2020...Left wing bias, prudery and multiple 'mistakes'
Facebook writes:

An Update to How We Address Movements and Organizations Tied to Violence

Today we are taking action against Facebook Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts tied to offline anarchist groups that support violent acts amidst protests, US-based militia organizations and QAnon. We already remove content calling for or advocating violence and we ban organizations and individuals that proclaim a violent mission. However, we have seen growing movements that, while not directly organizing violence, have celebrated violent acts, shown that they have weapons and suggest they will use them, or have individual followers with patterns of violent behavior. So today we are expanding our Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy to address organizations and movements that have demonstrated significant risks to public safety but do not meet the rigorous criteria to be designated as a dangerous organization and banned from having any presence on our platform. While we will allow people to post content that supports these movements and groups, so long as they do not otherwise violate our content policies, we will restrict their ability to organize on our platform.

Under this policy expansion, we will impose restrictions to limit the spread of content from Facebook Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts. We will also remove Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts where we identify discussions of potential violence, including when they use veiled language and symbols particular to the movement to do so.

We will take the following actions -- some effective immediately, and others coming soon:

  • Remove From Facebook : Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts associated with these movements and organizations will be removed when they discuss potential violence. We will continue studying specific terminology and symbolism used by supporters to identify the language used by these groups and movements indicating violence and take action accordingly.

  • Limit Recommendations : Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts associated with these movements that are not removed will not be eligible to be recommended to people when we suggest Groups you may want to join or Pages and Instagram accounts you may want to follow.

  • Reduce Ranking in News Feed : In the near future, content from these Pages and Groups and will also be ranked lower in News Feed, meaning people who already follow these Pages and are members of these Groups will be less likely to see this content in their News Feed.

  • Reduce in Search : Hashtags and titles of Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts restricted on our platform related to these movements and organizations will be limited in Search: they will not be suggested through our Search Typeahead function and will be ranked lower in Search results.

  • Reviewing Related Hashtags on Instagram: We have temporarily removed the Related Hashtags feature on Instagram, which allows people to find hashtags similar to those they are interacting with. We are working on stronger protections for people using this feature and will continue to evaluate how best to re-introduce it.

  • Prohibit Use of Ads, Commerce Surfaces and Monetization Tools : Facebook Pages related to these movements will be prohibited from running ads or selling products using Marketplace and Shop. In the near future, we'll extend this to prohibit anyone from running ads praising, supporting or representing these movements.

  • Prohibit Fundraising : We will prohibit nonprofits we identify as representing or seeking to support these movements, organizations and groups from using our fundraising tools. We will also prohibit personal fundraisers praising, supporting or representing these organizations and movements.

As a result of some of the actions we've already taken, we've removed over 790 groups, 100 Pages and 1,500 ads tied to QAnon from Facebook, blocked over 300 hashtags across Facebook and Instagram, and additionally imposed restrictions on over 1,950 Groups and 440 Pages on Facebook and over 10,000 accounts on Instagram. These numbers reflect differences in how Facebook and Instagram are used, with fewer Groups on Facebook with higher membership rates and a greater number of Instagram accounts with fewer followers comparably. Those Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts that have been restricted are still subject to removal as our team continues to review their content against our updated policy, as will others we identify subsequently. For militia organizations and those encouraging riots, including some who may identify as Antifa, we've initially removed over 980 groups, 520 Pages and 160 ads from Facebook. We've also restricted over 1,400 hashtags related to these groups and organizations on Instagram.

Today's update focuses on our Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy but we will continue to review content and accounts against all of our content policies in an effort to keep people safe. We will remove content from these movements that violate any of our policies, including those against fake accounts, harassment, hate speech and/or inciting violence. Misinformation that does not put people at risk of imminent violence or physical harm but is rated false by third-party fact-checkers will be reduced in News Feed so fewer people see it. And any non-state actor or group that qualifies as a dangerous individual or organization will be banned from our platform. Our teams will also study trends in attempts to skirt our enforcement so we can adapt. These movements and groups evolve quickly, and our teams will follow them closely and consult with outside experts so we can continue to enforce our policies against them.

 

 

Offsite Article: Consent on Hollywood Sets:...


Link Here19th August 2020
Lessons From an Intimacy Coordinator

See article from xbiz.com

 

 

History denial...

BBC censors an historically important and factual use of the word 'nigger' that explains the motivation behind the assassination of Abraham Lincoln


Link Here16th August 2020
A short history lesson:

John Wilkes Booth's hatred of Lincoln grew as the Confederacy's cause collapsed. On April 11, 1865, he heard Abraham Lincoln address a crowd outside the White House. Lincoln advocated extending the vote to educated African Americans and all black veterans. Booth turned to his companion Lewis Powell and exclaimed, That means nigger citizenship. That is the last speech he will ever make.

On April 14, 1865, the Lincolns and their two guests, Clara Harris and Maj. Henry Rathbone, arrived late to Ford's Theatre for a production of Our American Cousin. As the president entered the theater, the crowd wildly cheered and the orchestra played Hail to the Chief. Lincoln set his silk hat on the floor, and the actors resumed where they had left off.

At about 10:15 p.m., John Wilkes Booth entered the presidential box, pointed a derringer pistol at the back of the president's head and fired. Booth then pulled out a knife, slashed Rathbone, and jumped onto the stage, declaring Sic semper tyrannis -- Thus always to tyrants, the Virginia state motto. Despite breaking his leg as he hit the stage, Booth escaped backstage and onto a waiting horse.

And this rather important slice of history was factually retold in a BBC history programme, American History's Biggest Fibs with Lucy Worsley , BBC Two, 1 August 2020:

And of course the BBC received complaints about the factually important explainer of the motivation behind the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

The BBC reported that it had received 158 complaints and responded:

The BBC posted the following response on its website (without explaining what the complaints were about):

Firstly we understand and we are sorry for any distress caused to any of our audience by language included in the programme. We recognise it is an offensive term and one that is rarely included in our output. We assess all content we broadcast on a case by case basis taking into consideration a range of factors including the programme and the context.

This film was the second episode of a history series originally shown on BBC FOUR last year and it explored the American Civil War, featuring contributions from a number of African American scholars. This episode included a John Wilkes Booth quote uttered in reaction to President Abraham Lincoln's 1865 speech in which Lincoln declared that people, regardless of colour, should have equal rights to vote. The language used in Wilkes Booth's statement was included to indicate the strength of his views and his attitude towards African Americans -- racist views shared by many at that period in America's history. A continuity announcement at the start of the programme flagged to viewers the nature of the content; this was reinforced by the presenter who alerted the audience before reading from the Wilkes Booth statement.

We have listened to audience concerns and have re-edited the programme on BBC iPlayer. If we were making this programme today we would not have included the word.

The BBC Director-General has issued the following statement which, whilst primarily about a recent BBC News report, also states that the BBC will be strengthening guidance on offensive language across our output.

 

 

Extract: Cancel culture is mercy's antithesis...

Political correctness has grown to become the unhappiest religion in the world. By Nick Cave


Link Here16th August 2020
Nick Cave, a notable maverick musician, has spoken of cancel culture.

As far as I can see, cancel culture is mercy's antithesis. Political correctness has grown to become the unhappiest religion in the world. Its once honourable attempt to reimagine our society in a more equitable way now embodies all the worst aspects that religion has to offer (and none of the beauty) -- moral certainty and self-righteousness shorn even of the capacity for redemption. It has become quite literally, bad religion run amuck.

See full article from theredhandfiles.com

 

 

Offsite Article: Why Hasn't Porn Been Canceled?...


Link Here16th August 2020
Because is simply too popular, and even the 'progressive' left enjoy an occasional peek

See article from amgreatness.com

 

 

War on info...

Twitter is discouraging links to Alex Jones' banned.video


Link Here15th August 2020
Full story: Twitter Censorship...Twitter offers country by country take downs
Twitter has started blocking links to Infowars founder and host Alex Jones' Banned.video platform which serves as a hub for broadcasts and clips from right leaning media outlets.

When users open a Twitter link to Banned.video , they're presented with a warning screen that says:

Warning: this link may be unsafe.

The link you are trying to access has been identified by Twitter or our partners as being potentially spammy or unsafe, in accordance with Twitter's URL Policy, and lists several reasons the link could have been blocked.

It then presents users with a large Back to previous page button and in a small section at the bottom of the page, it gives users the option to Ignore this warning and continue.

Banned.video was launched in July 2019 after Infowars had been banned from all of the major Big Tech platforms including YouTube -- the world's biggest video sharing site and the second most visited site in the world.

Twitter has also banned Bill Mitchell, a conservative pundit and radio host with a large Twitter following. Twitter confirmed it permanently banned the pro-Trump internet personality after his widely-followed account, @mitchellvii, abruptly vanished.

 

 

The right to critique ideas, philosophical, religious and other must be protected...

An open letter from Rowan Atkinson and others criticises Scotland's disgraceful censorship bill


Link Here11th August 2020
Full story: Scotland stifles free speech...Hate Crime & Public Order (Scot) Bill Hate Crime & Public Order (Scot) Bill
A joint open letter from over 20 individuals and organisations highlights their concerns over the impact on artistic expression and free expression of the draft Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill.

The letter co-ordinated by Humanist Society Scotland has support from authors Val McDermid, Chirs Brookmyre and Alan Bissett alongside arts administrators Dame Seona Reid and the artistic director of Dundee Rep, Andrew Paton. They join Cartoonists Rights International and academics such as Prof AC Grayling and Prof Timothy Garden Ash alongside many others.

The letter reads:

We represent a diverse group of individuals and organisations concerned about the impact on freedom of expression of the proposed Hate Crime and Public Order Bill as currently drafted.

We welcome the provisions to consolidate existing aggravated hate crimes and the repeal of the blasphemy law.

However, the Bill creates stirring up offences without any intent being examined; merely that the words, action, or artwork might do so. This offence could even be applied to being in possession of materials produced by someone else, where sharing the material could stir up hatred.

The unintended consequences of this well meaning Bill risk stifling freedom of expression, and the ability to articulate or criticise religious and other beliefs.

As currently worded, the Bill could frustrate rational debate and discussion which has a fundamental role in society including in artistic endeavour. The arts play a key part in shaping Scotland's identity in addition to being a significant economic contributor.

The right to critique ideas, philosophical, religious and other must be protected to allow an artistic and democratic society to flourish.

Fraser Sutherland, Chief Executive, Humanist Society Scotland
Andrew Copson, Chief Executive, Humanists UK
Scottish PEN
Index on Censorship
Chris Brookmyre, Novelist
Val McDermid, Writer
Elaine C Smith, Actor and Comedian
Dame Seona Reid, Arts Administrator
Alan Bissett, Playwright and Novelist
Ruth Wishart, Journalist and Broadcaster
Andrew Panton, Artistic Director Dundee Rep / Joint CEO Dundee Rep & Scottish Dance Theatre Ltd
Prof. Maggie Kinloch, Theatre Director & Chair Humanist Society Scotland
Ariane Sherine, Comedian and Journalist
Joan Smith, Journalist, novelist, and human rights activist
Peter Tatchell, Director, Peter Tatchell Foundation
Rowan Atkinson, Comedian
Prof. A C Grayling, Philosopher and Author
Prof. Timothy Garton Ash, Historian and author of Free Speech
Nick Ross, Television and Radio Presenter
Terry Anderson, Executive Director, Cartoonists Rights Network International
Gary McLelland, Chief Executive, Humanists International
Michael Connarty, Former MP and former Chair of Parliamentary Humanist Group
Dr Evan Harris, Former MP and former Vice-Chair of Parliamentary Humanist Group
Quilliam Foundation

 

 

Updated: You can't say that!...

BBC News responds to complaints about the factual use of the word 'nigger' whilst reporting what was said during a crime


Link Here9th August 2020
The BBC has issued a statement after a news reporter used the word 'nigger' when relaying how the word word used in a racially motivated crime.

Social Affairs correspondent Fiona Lamdin was fronting a segment about a black NHS worker who was hit by a car in a suspected racially aggravated assault, when she said the word whilst recalling racist language shouted at the victim by the attackers.

Viewers of the BBC report took to Twitter to criticise the reporter's use of the word, with one user writing : A white reporter just said the N word on BBC News...am I hearing this correctly? Another wrote about how they were absolutely flabbergasted at the news reporter's choice of language, adding: Have they apologised for this disgusting behaviour?

The BBC is also receiving complaints about the broadcast. Ofcom reported that it had received 280 complaints about the issue.

In a statement about the broadcast, the BBC wrote on its website:

Clearly we would never want our reporting to become the focus of such an important story. We have listened to what people have had to say about the use of the word and we accept that this has caused offence but we would like people to understand why we took the decision we did.

This story was an important piece of journalism about a shocking incident. It was originally reported by some as a hit and run, but investigations indicated that racist language was used at the scene and it was then treated by the police as a racially aggravated attack.

The victim's family were anxious the incident should be seen and understood by the wider public. It's for this reason they asked us specifically to show the photos of this man's injuries and were also determined that we should report the racist language, in full, alleged to have been spoken by the occupants of the car.

Notwithstanding the family's wishes, we independently considered whether the use of the word was editorially justified given the context. The word is used on air rarely, and in this case, as with all cases, the decision to use it in full was made by a team of people including a number of senior editorial figures.

You are, of course, right that the word is highly offensive and we completely accept and understand why people have been upset by its use. The decision to use the word was not taken lightly and without considerable detailed thought: we were aware that it would cause offence. But, in this specific context we felt the need to explain, and report, not just the injuries but, given their alleged extreme nature, the words alleged to have been used - a position which, as we have said, was supported by the family and the victim.

These are difficult judgements but the context is very important in this particular case.

We believe we gave adequate warnings that upsetting images and language would be used and we will continue to pursue this story.

Update: 18,600 complaints

6th August 2020. See article from bbc.co.uk

The BBC has received more than 18,600 complaints about the factual use of the word 'nigger' in a TV news report.

Broadcast regulator Ofcom said it received 384 complaints about the same report.

In its fortnightly bulletin, the BBC said it had received 18,656 complaints about the incident by Sunday 2 August. That makes it the second-most complained about incident since the BBC began using its current system in 2017. Only Newsnight's biased opening monologue about Dominic Cummings in May received more, with 23,674.

Update: The left eats itself and so the BBC has to offer grovelling apology

9th August 2020. See article from bbc.co.uk

BBC director general Tony Hall has apologised and said a mistake was made after a news report containing a factual use of the word 'nigger' was broadcast last month.

The BBC initially defended the use of the slur after more than 18,600 complaints were made.

Hall said he now accepts the BBC should have taken a different approach. In an email, sent to all BBC staff, Hall said:

I recognise that we have ended up creating distress amongst many people.

In his message, Hall emphasised it was the BBC's intention was to highlight an alleged racist attack. He said:

This is important journalism which the BBC should be reporting on and we will continue to do so. Yet despite these good intentions, I recognise that we have ended up creating distress amongst many people.

The BBC now accepts that we should have taken a different approach at the time of broadcast and we are very sorry for that. We will now be strengthening our guidance on offensive language across our output.

Every organisation should be able to acknowledge when it has made a mistake. We made one here.

Update: 508 complaints

23rd August 2020. See report [pdf] from bbc.co.uk

The BBC later noted that it had actually received 508 complaints.

Update: 18000 complaints

15th October 2020

In a formal complaints bulletin the BBC noted that it received 18656 complaints about the programme.

 

 

Hungary tires of social media interference in free speech...

Hungarian data censor proposes a law requiring that social media companies justify why they ban people


Link Here 5th August 2020
Hungary's Data Protection Chief has proposed new legislation which would enable social media platforms to ban people from their services only with a compelling reason, while also granting the right to Hungarian authorities to review the decisions.

The head of the Hungarian Data Protection Authority (NAIH), requested a regulation on social media at a meeting of the Digital Freedom Working Group, according to which community profiles can only be suspended for compelling reasons. Also, according to Attila Péterfalvi, Hungarian authorities should have the right to review these decisions.

The justice ministry's digital freedom committee aimed at improving the transparency of tech firms has penned a letter to the regional director of Facebook asking whether the company's supervisory board complied with the requirements of political neutrality and transparency in its procedures, Justice Minister Judit Varga said:

Péterfalvi said:

I made the suggestion of establishing a Hungarian authority procedure in which the Hungarian authorities would oblige Facebook to review unjustified suspensions so that freedom of expression would remain free indeed.

 

 

Wrong think...

Labour demands the faster implementation of internet censorship


Link Here28th July 2020
Full story: Online Harms White Paper...UK Government seeks to censor social media
More censorship legislation is needed to protect people online after social media giants' failure to tackle hate speech on their websites, claims the Labour Party.

Jo Stevens, shadow secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, claimed the UK desperately needed legislation forcing platforms to act because self-regulation isn't working.

The Labour party is accusing the Government of delaying the introduction of an online harms bill to protect Internet users. It comes after politicians and campaigners condemned Twitter for being too slow to remove anti-Semitic tweets by rapper Wiley.

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he has written to Instagram and Twitter to make it clear that they need to act immediately to remove social media posts that Labour does not like.

 

 

Offsite Article: You can't defeat racism with censorship...


Link Here28th July 2020
Calls for social-media censorship in the wake of Wiley's anti-Semitic rant are dangerous and wrong. By Fraser Myers

See article from spiked-online.com

 

 

The Scottish government is deliberately intending to stifle free speech...

With a disgraceful new bill whose public consultation has just closed


Link Here 26th July 2020
Full story: Scotland stifles free speech...Hate Crime & Public Order (Scot) Bill Hate Crime & Public Order (Scot) Bill
A public consultation has closed on changes to Scotland's hate crime laws that will diminish free speech even further.

The plans to make it a criminal offence to stir up hatred, criticise or insult anyone based on their age, disability, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity.

The bill will massively step up the definitions of what people are not allowed to stay lest it be considered insulting to easily offended identity groups, particularly sensitive religions. The bill also extends from people's words into the possession of material that might be considered critical of sensitive identity groups.

The disgraceful bill has been opposed by many particularly the most effected, like newspapers.

Opposition to the bill has united the Catholic Church and the National Secular Society in opposition to the plans - along with academics, playwrights and newspaper columnists who all say they fear the proposed legislation will pose a threat to their freedom of speech. For example comedians could become too frightened to dare make a joke about a Scotsman, an Englishman and an Irishman walking into a bar.

The public were invited to make their views known to the Scottish parliament's justice committee before midnight on 24 July.

Amanda Millar, president of the Law Society of Scotland, said:

It was right that laws provide a clear message that hatred should have no place in our society. However, we have significant reservations regarding a number of the bill's provisions and the lack of clarity, which could in effect lead to restrictions in freedom of expression, one of the foundations of a democratic society. We have real concerns that certain behaviour, views expressed or even an actor's performance, which might well be deemed insulting or offensive, could result in a criminal conviction under the terms of the bill as currently drafted.

Scottish Labour criticised the offence of stirring up hatred and accused ministers of failing to learn the lessons of the repealed Offensive Behaviour at Football Act. The party's justice spokesman James Kelly said:

There is a significant divergence from similar law in England and Wales where intent is required for a person to be criminalised for behaviour which another finds insulting. Under the current proposals, the law here would not require this intent to be present - which sets an alarming legal precedent and could result in the criminalisation of expressions of religious views.

In its submission to Holyrood's Justice Committee, the Scottish Newspaper Society warned that it contained highly dangerous measures which pose a serious threat to freedom of expression in its broadest sense. The organisation's director, John McLellan, said it had the potential to provoke a string of vexatious complaints against journalists and columnists, which could then lead to police investigations. He raised further concerns about provisions against communicating insulting material:

It would also be an offence to distribute it, which potentially could see newspaper delivery boys and girls, or shops, fall foul of the law.

Allowing courts to direct the destruction of material had echoes of darker times and could lead to the banning of books or censorship of the internet, he warned.

He added that JK Rowling, who has recently faced a deluge of criticism from transgender rights activists after she expressed her views online, would almost certainly have seen her subjected to a police investigation had the proposed law been in force.

 

 

Offsite Article: Fetishising debate...


Link Here26th July 2020
'progressive' and authoritarian MP decides that free speech, and even simple debate, is unacceptable

See article from rt.com

 

 

Proving the QAnon conspiracy...

Twitter proves that there is a liberal elite silencing the right


Link Here24th July 2020
Twitter's threat to shadowban accounts and hashtags linked to the pro-Trump QAnon movement has merely validated followers' fears that they are being controlled by a liberal elite.

The US conspiracy theory (really an ecosystem of interlinked conspiracy theories) is centered around the cryptic disclosures of a supposedly high-ranking government employee going by the moniker Q.

The supporters believe that the eponymous Q is posting coded messages online to inform Trump's supporters about a secret war against the right, and preparing them for an imminent event in which the president overthrows the evil cabal and imprisons its members.

Generally they believe that Donald Trump is fighting against a secretive and evil global cabal, members of which include former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and the billionaire liberal philanthropist George Soros, who both have been hate figures for the American political right for many years.

Twitter's thread vowing to take further action on QAnon activity across the service induced a collective persecution-complex orgasm across the Q community, who mostly interpreted the deplatforming threat as an admission that QAnon was every bit the threat to the ruling power structure they've always believed they were.

The company warned some 150,000 accounts will be affected by the new rule, implying that sharing QAnon content is behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm. Tellingly, they didn't cite any specific incidents, and mainstream media that have reported on the ban don't seem to care what harm has in fact resulted from the fevered speculation over cryptic Q breadcrumbs.

 

 

No Country For Young Women...

The BBC tries to defend its racist and divisive social media post that it was forced to take down after a public backlash


Link Here16th July 2020

No Country For Young Women
BBC Sounds, 30 June 2020 16 July 2020

Summary of complaint

We received some complaints about the content of the podcast, No Country For Young Women, and a BBC social media post which promoted it.

Our response

The comments which prompted a reaction were not part of the podcast, and featured only in a short social media clip, which we've removed. The podcast episode itself is an in-depth and broad discussion on racism, class, feminism and stereotypes.

No Country For Young Women is a long running podcast series which predominantly explores the experiences of young black and Asian women in the UK. It features in-depth discussions with a wide variety of guests, who share views on important and complex topics in a way that is relevant to the conversations of many young people.

Some listeners felt that opposing views should have been included in the same discussion in the interest of balance, but this isn't required as a matter of course. Due impartiality takes into account the context of the series. It allows for a range of input to be heard over a period of time too, rather than within each and every edition. With No Country For Young Women, each topic is handled through the lens of the hosts, Sadia Azmat & Monty Onanuga, and their guests' experiences and backgrounds. Some of these themes have had very recent developments and the discussion is sure to evolve -- we may return to similar topics at a later date.

 

 

Updated: Duffy Recommends...

365 Days, an erotic thriller on Netflix


Link Here16th July 2020
Full story: Film censorship in New Zealand...At the Office of Film and Literature Classification
365 Days (365 DNI) is a 2020 Poland drama by Barbara Bialowas.
Starring Michele Morrone, Anna Maria Sieklucka and Bronislaw Wroclawski. BBFC link IMDb

Massimo Torricelli, a young and handsome boss of a Sicilian Mafia family, has no other option but to takeover after his father has been assassinated. Laura Biel is a sales director in a luxurious hotel. She has a successful career, but her private life lacks passion. She is taking one last shot to save her relationship. Together with her partner and friends, she takes a trip to Sicily. Laura does not expect that Massimo, the most dangerous man on the island, will get in her way, kidnap her, hold her captive and give her 365 days... to fall in love with him. "365 dni" is the first Polish erotic film. It is based on the best-selling novel of the same name from author Blanka Lipinksa.

A British singer named Duffy is asking Netflix CEO Reed Hastings to remove the sexy film 365 Days claiming that it glorifies rape and sex trafficking.

365 Days is an erotic thriller from Poland that has been likened to Fifty Shades of Grey . It is quite sexy for Netflix and has become the services's biggest movie of the summer. The film is is about a mobster who kidnaps a woman he's been stalking, holding her captive for an entire year so that she'll fall in love with him. Naturally, she eventually does fall for her hunky captor and has a lot of sex with him, in various positions filmed from many angles.

The films detractors have organised a petition against the film which has been signed by about 54,000 people.

Now Duffy has weighed in against the film citing her own experience with being drugged in a restaurant and being abducted. She found the premise of 365 Days was just a little too familiar to the singer, so she wrote an open letter calling Netflix irresponsible for airing the film.

Update: Noted by the New Zealand film censor

7th July 2020. See article from rnz.co.nz

 When it was first launched in New Zealand, 365 Days carried a rating of R16, but that was bumped up after Chief Censor David Shanks got involved. Shanks said:
We felt that age rating was inadequate, we thought that this was more at the 18-plus level. We also wrote to Netflix and advised that they should warn for sexual violence as well as potentially highly impactful content in this film that viewers should be warned about.
Shanks said it was frustrating that the legislation his office operated under was from 1993, and therefore did not cover streaming services. But there was a bill before parliament which if passed, would change that and allow for Netflix to rate films more in line with New Zealand standards.

 

Update: A petition to ban 365 Days

16th July 2020. See article from standard.co.uk

A petition to ban the Polish Netflix film has gained about 70,000 signatures.

The Change.org petition's author, fitness influencer Mikayla Zazon, wrote:

Netflix clearly stands on the side of the abusers by having a movie that glorifies, romanticizes, and condones sexual assault trending on their top 10 recommended movies to watch around the globe.

As a social media public figure and a victim of these crimes, I am outraged and heartbroken that this movie shows up on teens' 'watch next' recommendation.

By taking down this movie on Netflix, we can protect sexual violence in adolescent women and adult women. And we can prevent boys from seeing such horrific behaviour as permission to sexual assault and rape women.

 

 

Offsite Article: Opinion columnist and editor Bari Weiss resigns from the New York Times...


Link Here 15th July 2020
And she explains in detail how free speech has been badly compromised at the once proud newspaper

See article from bariweiss.com

 

 

Offsite Article: Now the police are arresting 12-year-olds for hate speech...


Link Here 13th July 2020
Pre-teens who send racist messages need a slap or a talking to -- not a set of handcuffs.

See article from spiked-online.com

 

 

Commented: A Letter on Justice and Open Debate...

Harper's Magazine publishes an open letter from 150 authors including JK Rowling regarding their stance on free speech, open dialogue and debate


Link Here12th July 2020

Our cultural institutions are facing a moment of trial. Powerful protests for racial and social justice are leading to overdue demands for police reform, along with wider calls for greater equality and inclusion across our society, not least in higher education, journalism, philanthropy, and the arts. But this needed reckoning has also intensified a new set of moral attitudes and political commitments that tend to weaken our norms of open debate and toleration of differences in favor of ideological conformity. As we applaud the first development, we also raise our voices against the second. The forces of illiberalism are gaining strength throughout the world and have a powerful ally in Donald Trump, who represents a real threat to democracy. But resistance must not be allowed to harden into its own brand of dogma or coercion204which right-wing demagogues are already exploiting. The democratic inclusion we want can be achieved only if we speak out against the intolerant climate that has set in on all sides.

The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted. While we have come to expect this on the radical right, censoriousness is also spreading more widely in our culture: an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty. We uphold the value of robust and even caustic counter-speech from all quarters. But it is now all too common to hear calls for swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought. More troubling still, institutional leaders, in a spirit of panicked damage control, are delivering hasty and disproportionate punishments instead of considered reforms. Editors are fired for running controversial pieces; books are withdrawn for alleged inauthenticity; journalists are barred from writing on certain topics; professors are investigated for quoting works of literature in class; a researcher is fired for circulating a peer-reviewed academic study; and the heads of organizations are ousted for what are sometimes just clumsy mistakes. Whatever the arguments around each particular incident, the result has been to steadily narrow the boundaries of what can be said without the threat of reprisal. We are already paying the price in greater risk aversion among writers, artists, and journalists who fear for their livelihoods if they depart from the consensus, or even lack sufficient zeal in agreement.

This stifling atmosphere will ultimately harm the most vital causes of our time. The restriction of debate, whether by a repressive government or an intolerant society, invariably hurts those who lack power and makes everyone less capable of democratic participation. The way to defeat bad ideas is by exposure, argument, and persuasion, not by trying to silence or wish them away. We refuse any false choice between justice and freedom, which cannot exist without each other. As writers we need a culture that leaves us room for experimentation, risk taking, and even mistakes. We need to preserve the possibility of good-faith disagreement without dire professional consequences. If we won't defend the very thing on which our work depends, we shouldn't expect the public or the state to defend it for us.

See signatures from harpers.org which include JK Rowling and Salman Rushdie

Offsite Comment: The spectre of censorship and intolerance stalks today's left

12th July 2020. See article from theguardian.com   by Nick Cohen

The attacks on the signatories of a letter fearing the future of free speech proved the letter's point

 

 

Instagram to block LGBT conversion therapy...

But doesn't the transgender journey convert a gay person into a straight person?


Link Here 10th July 2020
Full story: Instagram Censorship...Photo sharing website gets heavy on the censorship
Instagram will block the promotion of conversion therapy, which tries to change a person's sexuality or gender identity.

Campaigners are urging the government to act now on a two-year-old promise to make the practice illegal. This year, 200,000 people have signed an online petition calling for action.

In 2018, the government announced that gay conversion therapies were to be banned as part of a government plan to improve the lives of gay and transgender people, but activists note that such a ban has not been initiated. The government has since said it will consider all options for ending the practice.

Speaking exclusively to the BBC, Tara Hopkins, EMEA public policy director, Instagram, said the company is changing the way it handles conversion therapy content:

We don't allow attacks against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity and are updating our policies to ban the promotion of conversion therapy services. We are always reviewing our policies and will continue to consult with experts and people with personal experiences to inform our approach.

Earlier this year, Instagram banned the promotion of conversion therapy in ads. From Friday, any content linked to it will now be banned across the platform.

 

 

Mermaid Lives Matter...

The Little Mermaid in Copenhagen vandalised with cryptic grafitti


Link Here5th July 2020
Copenhagen's iconic The Little Mermaid statue in was vandalised on Friday but police and commentators were mystified about the slogan daubed on the rock. An unknown person has scrawled the words 'Racist Fish' on it.

According to police other statues around Copenhagen have also been vandalised with various phrases. Police also said that on June 16, someone had written racist on a statue of Danish King Christian IV, who ruled between 1588 and 1648.

 

 

Campaigners get their Rocks Off...

Amazon Prime censors 4 episodes of 30 Rock over blackface


Link Here5th July 2020
Four episodes of 30 Rock in which characters appear in blackface are to be taken down, at the request of creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock.

Fey wrote that the episodes are best taken out of circulation and apologised for pain they have caused. The episodes will be removed from streaming services Amazon Prime and Hulu, as well as purchase platforms, including iTunes and Google Play. No re-runs will be shown on TV either.

They include a live episode with guest star Jon Hamm in series six. He appeared in a wig and blackface, part of a spoof of an old US radio and TV show titled Amos n Andy.

Two episodes of the hit US series featured Jane Krakowski's character Jenna - one from series three, Believe in the Stars, and the other from series five, called Christmas Attack Zone. The Believe in the Stars episode (2008) involved Jenna and Tracy Jordan (played by Tracy Morgan) deciding to swap identities in order to determine whether black men or white women faced more challenges in society.

The fourth and final episode being pulled by the studio is the East Coast version of season five's Live Show - the first live episode of 30 Rock.

 

 

Offsite Article: Why Parler is worth a punt...


Link Here4th July 2020
True liberals should embrace any challenge to Twitter's stifling monopoly. By Andrew Doyle

See article from spiked-online.com

 

 

Commented: Sky Recommends...

Sky adds PC disclaimer to 16 movies in its Sky Movies line up


Link Here3rd July 2020

The statellite and cable subscription service, Sky Cinema, has issued a political correctness disclaimer to its subscribers that some of its content contains outdated attitudes, languages and cultural depictions which may cause offence today. Sixteen films have the warning:

  • Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961). The only non-white character in the film Mr Yunioshi is played by white actor Mickey Rooney. Pretending to be a Japanese man, he wears fake teeth and puts on a Japanese accent.
  • The Jungle Book (1967 and 2016 live-action remake). There have been suggestions the character of orangutang King Louie, which did not feature in Rudyard Kipling's original novel, implied inequality between African Americans and Caucasians. It has also been claimed the character's portrayal is based on what white people thought about black people at the time, such as his poorer linguistic skills and him wanting to be like the other men.
  • Aladdin (1992). Critics have expressed concerns over the story's use of Orientalist stereotypes, while casting decisions also came under scrutiny, with Aladdin, Princess Jasmine and the genie played by white actors in the animation.
  • The Goonies (1985). The portrayal of Clever Data, a gadget freak who helps the boys in situations, speaks in a stereotypically Asian accent.
  • Dumbo (1941). Dumbo has been accused of containing racist stereotypes of African Americans at the time in the form of black crows, who use jive-like speech patterns. The main bird is even named Jim Crow, a nod to the racist segregationist Jim Crow laws of the time, and is voiced by a white actor.
  • Aliens (1986). The film has been accused of hi-tech racism and android apartheid due to the way in which humans in the film deal with the presence of other. It has been suggested the character of Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver, treated them with fear and suspicion.
  • Trading Places (1983). The film was littered with controversies, including Dan Akroyd wearing blackface, continuous stereotyping of black people and women and frequent use of the n-word throughout the movie.
  • Flash Gordon (1980). The film's antagonist, Ming the Merciless, played by Max von Sydow, is viewed as a classic example of Yellow Peril xenophobia.
  • Gone With The Wind (1939). Gone With The Wind has been criticised for romanticising slavery and glosses over the horrors of slavery. The film also features the word 'nigger' throughout, which was used in the book.
  • Lawrence of Arabia (1962). Some criticised the film for feeding on racial stereotypes and on Western beliefs that Arabs needed foreigners to guide them.
  • Tropic Thunder (2008). Robert Downey Jr appeared in blackface for the comedy blockbuster, while many considered use of the word retard, uttered 17 times in the film to denote a person with learning difficulties, as unacceptable.
  • The Jazz Singer (1927). The musical drama was criticised for Al Jolson's use of blackface, though many have since pointed to the fact the actor was a civil rights advocate, often backing projects by black artists, including playwright Garland Anderson.
  • The Littlest Rebel (1935). Perhaps Shirley Temple's most controversial movie, The Littlest Rebel, in which she appears in blackface, is also accused of glorifying Confederate ideals, with black slaves appearing unhappy to be set free.
  • The Lone Ranger (2013). Questions were raised over Johnny Depp's portrayal of Tonto, a Native American, as it sparked a debate over whether actors should play a race other than their own. The actor himself said he considered the role an attempt to try to right the wrongs of the past, meaning poor portrayals of Natives in Hollywood.
  • Balls of Fury (2007). The ping-pong based comedy starring Christopher Walken was criticised for caricaturing Asian characters and carrying racist jokes and a running gag making fun of blind people.
  • T he Last Samurai (2003). Tom Cruise's role as a captain hired to train the Japanese army to fight a Samurai rebellion is considered problematic by some for the sense of American superiority portrayed in the film.
Sky say that they are reviewing a number of their titles across their platform and are adding any warnings where they think it necessary to flag issues of cultural sensitivities and attitudes which may cause offence as part of its broader commitment to tackle racial injustice.

 

Update: Can art survive woke culture?

3rd July 2020. See article from spiked-online.com by Nick Dixon

Sky's bizarre film warnings show we no longer trust people to make or consume culture unattended.

 

 

Offsite Article: Living in silenced times...


Link Here2nd July 2020
We're facing a tsunami of censorship. By Toby Young

See article from spectator.co.uk

 

 

Bad Habit...

260,000 petitioners call for film to be banned over a female actor playing the role of Jesus


Link Here1st July 2020
Habit is a 2020 USA film by Janell Shirtcliff.
Starring Bella Thorne, Bria Vinaite and Paris Jackson. IMDb

The casting of Jackson, a model and actor who is the daughter of the late pop star Michael Jackson, opposite Bella Thorne and musician Gavin Rossdale in the film was announced in April .

The plot synopsis suggests that Thorne plays a street smart party girl with a Jesus fetish [who] gets mixed up in a violent drug deal and finds a possible way out by masquerading as a nun. Jackson's gender-bending take on the religious figure was reported to include a nose ring, tousled waves and a traditional robe.

Echoing PC rules that selectively ban actors from playing roles based on a different ethnicity ('blackface'), the petitioners claim that it is unacceptable for a female to play a male role.The petitioners denounce the film as Christianophobic garbage, and call for the film to be banned. The petition has attracted about 260,000 signatures.

The petition, which names Warner Bros and Lionsgate as its targets, claims that Jackson will play Jesus as a lesbian, though there is no mention of this in any publicly available reports of the film. The petition also claims the film is blasphemous.

The project previously sparked protest from a christian organisation called One Million Moms , which claimed the film was sacrilegious and ridicules people of faith. It has started its own petition which has attracted about 69,000 signatures.


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