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Fake claims...

Thailand sets up an internet censorship centre in the name of 'fake news'


Link Here 15th August 2019
Full story: Internet Censorship in Thailand...Thailand implements mass website blocking

Thailand's Digital Economy and Society Minister Puttipong Punnakanta plans to set up a Fake News Center.

The digital minister confirmed that he is looking to create the Fake News Center to:

get rid of fabricated, misleading content on social media which might jeopardize the people's safety and property and violate the Computer Crime Act and other laws.

For instance, content on social media about natural disasters and health care might be fabricated or exaggerated only to confuse and scare viewers. They might be deceived by fraudulent investment scams or lured to buy illegal, hazardous health products online.

He said a dozen government agencies will be asked to cooperate with the Fake News Center such as the police, the military, the Consumer Protection Board, the Food and Drugs Administration and the Public Relations Department, among others.

 

 

Commented: What bright spark thought that it was a good idea for ISPs to decide what to censor?...

New Zealand ISP Spark says it will unilaterally censor 8chan (should it return to life)


Link Here 11th August 2019
Full story: Internet Censorship in New Zealand...New Zealand considers internet blocking
New Zealand ISP Spark says it will block the controversial website 8chan if it resumes service, because it continues to host disturbing material.

8chan is currently down after its web host pulled out in response to 8chan being used by US mass shooters. However, Spark said if 8chan finds another host provider, it would block access. Spark said:

We feel it is the right thing to do given the website's repeated transgressions and continual willingness to distribute disturbing material.

The 8chan internet forum was used by the accused Christchurch mosque gunman to distribute his manifesto and live stream the attack.

However Spark seemed to realise that it would now become a magnet for every easily offended social justice warrior with a pet grievance and said that the the government should step in:

Appropriate agencies of government should put in place a robust policy framework to address the important issues surrounding such material being distributed online and freely available.

Technology commentator Paul Brislen responded:

It's very, very nearly the edge of what's acceptable for what your internet provider to be doing in this kind of situation.

I'm as uncomfortable as they [Spark] are about it. They do really need to find a new way to manage hate-speech and extremist content on the internet.

It's much like the Telecom of old to decide which phone calls you can and can't make.

The risk was someone would now turn around and say okay you blocked 8Chan because of hate speech, now I want you to block this other website because it allows people to access something else. It might be hate speech, it might be pornography, it might be something that speaks out against a religious group or ethnicity.

You start down a certain track of Spark or any of the other ISPs being forced to decide what is and isn't acceptable for the NZ public and that's not their job at all. They really shouldn't be doing that.

Update: New Zealand's chief censor David Shanks chips in

11th August 2019. See article from classificationoffice.govt.nz

I applaud the announcement by Spark that they are prepared to block access to 8chan if and when it re-emerges on the internet.

This move is both brave and meaningful. Brave, because a decision not to provide users with access to a site is quite a different thing from a decision not to provide a site with the server capacity and services it needs (which is the choice that Cloudflare recently made). Meaningful, because everything I have seen tells me that 8chan is the white supremacist killer's platform of choice, with at least three major attacks announced on it within a few months. There is nothing indicating that upon re-emergence 8chan will be a changed, safer platform. Indeed, it may be even more toxic.

We appreciate that our domestic ISP's have obligations to provide their customers with access to the internet according to their individual terms and conditions. Within those constraints, as the experience post the March 15 attacks show, our ISP's can act and do the right thing to block platforms that are linked to terrorist atrocities and pose a direct risk of harm to New Zealanders.

I know that ISPs don't take these decisions lightly, and that they do not want to be in the business of making judgments around the content of sites. But these are extraordinary circumstances, and platforms that promote terrorist atrocities should not be tolerated on the internet, or anywhere else. Spark is making the right call here.

This is a unique set of circumstances, and relying on ISPs to make these calls is not a solution for the mid or long term. I agree with calls for a transparent, robust and sensible regulatory response. Discussions have already started on what this might look like here in NZ. Ultimately this is a global, internet problem. That makes it complex of course, but I believe that online extremism can be beaten if governments, industry and the public work together

 

 

Uncomfortable historical facts...

Art exhibition in Japan closed down after protesters threaten violence over a statue of a 'comfort woman'


Link Here 7th August 2019

A section of a major art festival, Aichi Triennale 2019, in central Japan featuring a statue symbolizing wartime comfort women shut down on Saturday following protests, the organizer said.

The protesters were taking easy offence at the Statue of a Girl of Peace . This depicted a Korean comfort women, or ianfu in Japanese. The term is a euphemism for the women, including Koreans, who provided sex, generally against their will, for Japanese troops before and during World War II.

Aichi Gov. Hideaki Omura, who heads the organizing committee, told a news conference that there are growing worries about safely managing the Aichi Triennale 2019 as it had received a number of threatening emails, phone calls and faxes. One of the faxes it received read: I will bring a gasoline container to the museum.

The statue of the girl was part of an exhibit in the art festival's section titled After Freedom of Expression? Most of the artwork on display in that section could not be displayed in Japan in the past due to censorship or self-censorship, the exhibitor said.

 

 

Culture of censorship...

Rocketman cut by the Malaysian film censor


Link Here 2nd August 2019
Full story: Censored Films in Malaysia...Film censors and censorship
Rocketman is a 2019 UK / USA musical music biography by Dexter Fletcher.
Starring Bryce Dallas Howard, Taron Egerton and Richard Madden. BBFC link IMDb

The Malaysian film censor has cut scenes which depicted depicted men kissing and having sex with one another. Safaruddin Mohammad Ali, head of the Film Censorship Board explained:

We do not allow any scenes that promote LGBTQ in films that are for public viewing.

Separately the film censor commented that although it is about the real life of Elton John, it is not for him to allow the public to see whatever he does or whatever activities he indulges in that is not our culture,

The film was also cut by the distributors in Russia over fears of the country's anti gay laws. Rocket man was also banned in Samoa.

 

 

Offsite Article: Extreme censorship...


Link Here 31st July 2019
New Zealand seems to be going well over the top in remanding a man in custody over the possession of the banned mosque massacre video

See article from nzherald.co.nz

 

 

Parasite...

The latest cinema film to be banned in China


Link Here 30th July 2019
Full story: Film Censorship in China...All Chinese films censored to be suitable for kids
Parasite is a 2019 South Korea comedy thriller by Joon-ho Bong (as Joon Ho Bong).
Starring Kang-ho Song, Yeo-jeong Jo and Woo-sik Choi. IMDb

All unemployed, Ki-taek's family takes peculiar interest in the wealthy and glamorous Parks for their livelihood until they get entangled in an unexpected incident.

The film was pulled from the FIRST film festival in Xining for technical reasons, a euphemism for being banned by the film censors.

No explanation was provided but it could be a simple as frosty relations between China and South Korea. No Korean films have been allowed to screen in China in the last two years.

 

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