On July 1, the Ugandan government began enforcing a new law that imposes a 200 shilling [US$0.05, 2£0.04] daily levy on people using internet messaging platforms, despite protests to the contrary from local and international online free speech
This move, according to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, has the dual purpose of strengthening the national budget and also curtailing gossip by Ugandans on social media. It was also popular among local telecom providers, who do not directly
benefit from the use of foreign-based over-the-top services such as Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp.
The polic was preceded with an order to register all new mobile SIM cards with the National Biometric Data Centre. The measure also forces Ugandans to only use mobile money accounts in order to recharge their SIM cards and makes it mandatory to
pay a one percent levy on the total value of transaction on any mobile money transaction .
These new policies make it more costly for Ugandans -- especially those living in poverty -- to communicate and perform everyday tasks using their mobile devices.
On July 2, civil society and legal advocates in Uganda filed a court challenge against the law, arguing that it violates the country's constitution.
A protester demonstrates his opposition to Uganda's social media tax at a gathering on July 6, 2018.
On July 6, concerned citizens and civil society advocates issued a joint press statement [see below] calling on Ugandans to avoid paying the tax by using alternate methods to exchange money and access social media, and to join a National Day of
Peaceful Protest Against Unfair Taxation on Wednesday, July 11, 2018.
The Global Voices community and our network of friends and allies wish to support this and other efforts to demand an end to the tax. We believe that this tax is simply a ploy to censor Ugandans and gag dissenting voices.
We believe social media should be freely accessible for all people, including Ugandans. The Ugandan social media tax must go!
On Monday, July 9, beginning at 14:00 East Africa Time, we plan to tweet at community leaders, government and diplomatic actors, and media influencers to increase awareness and draw public attention to the issue. We especially encourage fellow
bloggers and social media users all over the world to join us.
UK-based organisations will host events across Britain this year to mark Banned Books
Week: bringing the internationally-celebrated event to a UK-wide audience for the first time.
Mirroring a similar initiative in the United States, the organisations -- including the British Library, Index on Censorship, Royal Society of Literature and English PEN -- are encouraging libraries, book shops, schools and reading groups to hold
events that celebrate the freedom to read and challenge the silencing of voices and ideas.
Jodie Ginsberg, chief executive of Index on Censorship, one of the groups spearheading Banned Books Week UK, said:
This year marks 50 years since we abolished government censorship of the theatre in this country. It's a good time to think about what is getting published today and why -- and who are the modern censors.
Celebrated works of literature that have experienced bans or censorship worldwide in recent years include the Harry Potter books, Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird , Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series and John Green's The
Fault in Our Stars .
Banned Books Week will take place from September 23 to 29 2018. Events will include a special evening at the British Library marking the Theatres Act 1968, which abolished theatre censorship in the United Kingdom, as well as readings and talks
across the country.
The British Library is delighted to be a partner in Banned Books Week 2018 said Roly Keating, Chief Executive of the British Library. We are looking forward to events in the autumn in which we'll be holding conversations about theatrical
censorship past and present, and encourage libraries, bookshops and schools across the country to join in by hosting their own events and getting everyone involved in debating this vital issue.
Previous Banned Books Week events have included discussions on The Satanic Verses controversy; a talk on the unsayable with cartoonist Martin Rowson; and David Aaronovitch and guests exploring tactics used to censor voices around the world.
Anyone interested in hosting their own event is urged to do so under the Banned Books Banner and resources will be made available for schools and libraries later in the year.
Islington Libraries will produce a list of some of the world's best-known banned books for the occasion and everyone is encouraged to pick up a banned book.
TEXXXAS: The Show was an adult expo was scheduled for Houston, Texas, next month.
Morality in Media, now calling themselves National Center on Sexual Exploitation, reported that they had asked Hilton executives not to host the event. The group claimed that the event had the potential to facilitate an increased demand for prostitution,
and sex trafficking, in the local area. This would have partly resulted from the demand for commercial sex both at the expo and surrounding after parties at local strip clubs.
Hilton Worldwide apparently responding to the Morality in Media call cancelled the expo. Along with Hospitality Ventures Management Group (HVMG), a third-party management services provider, Hilton Worldwide decided to no longer host this event.
In a communication informing Morality in Media of the cancellation, a Hilton representative stated:
Hilton is committed to respecting human rights and preventing sexual exploitation and we continuously review our policies to ensure we provide a welcoming environment for guests, employees and members of our communities.
The TEXXXAS fan expo, which will make its debut Aug. 17, has relocated to the Holiday Inn Southwest.
The hotel is located at 11160 Southwest Freeway in Houstonā?�10 miles from downtown Houston and five miles from the Galleria area.
The three-day event, officially called TEXXXAS The Show, will feature more than 30 adult film stars.
The inaugural TEXXXAS fan expo, scheduled for Aug. 17-20, is looking for its second new venue in less than a week after the Holiday Inn
Southwest cancelled its agreement to host the event.
John Gray, organizer and president of TEXXXAS The Show, told AVN Wednesday he is considering several options for the new venue and assured the show will go on as planned.
Holiday Inn capitulated after being approached by Morality in Media campaigners. Dawn Hawkins, executive director of NCOSE crowed:
InterContinental Hotels Group and the independently owned and operated Holiday Inn Southwest hotel took an important stand against sexual exploitation by refusing to host this pornography expo. After we heard that the TEXXXAS event had been cancelled by
Hilton, we reached out to remind IHG executives of the potential harms such an event could have on the local community and of IHG's own policy on pornography. In a clear display of corporate and social responsibility, IHG took immediate action to address
The Sydney Underground Film Festival
17 -20th September 2015
The Factory Theatre in Marrickville, Sydney
After a recent change to Australian film censorship law, festival organisers have been speaking of an improved process making it a bit easier to schedule censor baiting material. Festival organisers are now allowed to self-assess as to whether yet
to be censored movies are permissible.
Events such as the Sydney Underground Film Festival's co-director Stefan Popescu welcomed the new classification exemptions for festivals and special events:
I think it's far more intelligent to give festivals greater responsibility in assessing the suitability of content for their exhibition, he says. It is good to see that the [Classification Board] is moving towards a less controlling and fearful position
in their policies concerning content for media.
The festival opens on Thursday with a screening of French film Love, which has been described as a 3D pornographic movie. Popescu says the film, which premiered at this year's Cannes film festival, challenges the way sexuality is addressed in
I think we should relax the censorship laws and generally relax our conservative attitudes towards sexuality, he says. I personally don't understand why people are so uptight about something that forms the basis of human existence, yet we celebrate and
support violence and warmongering publicly.
This year's festival was programmed before the new censorship rules were enacted and Popescu speaks of films creating issues for the censors. The Australian censors were concerned in particular about two scenes from a Finnish comedy-horror movie, Bunny The Killer Thing.
One of the scenes had a woman being bashed unconscious and then sexually assaulted, but the censors did not required cuts. Popescu commented:
I chose Bunny The Killer Thing , because I love ridiculous gore films, there is some sort of sick pleasure in it for me
But even Popescu said he was shocked by the documentary Dolphin Love:
I just find it one of the more confronting films, because this guy really believes he had a loving relationship with a dolphin, he says. I just don't know how I feel about that because firstly it's real and secondly there is no way to assess whether the
The festival will close with Eli Roth's Knock Knock, an erotic horror film featuring Keanu Reeves.