"I wasn't worried about freedom, I was worried about people turning into morons by TV."
Ray Bradbury, author of Fahrenheit 451, recently
interviewed by LA Weekly , says that the famed story of Guy Montag is not a forewarning of government
censorship, but rather it is an inditement of television which is creating a society that focuses on
memorizing facts and dates rather than studying literature
In interviews at his home (grainy quicktime video goodness)
, especially (1),
, Mr. Bradbury discusses his intentions, amongst other things, of Fahrenheit 451 and "laments the moronic influence of popular culture through local TV news."
posted by fizzix
on Jun 5, 2007 -
livejournal permanently suspends hundreds of accounts
under pressure from "watchdog" group Warriors for Innocence
(sketchy, possibly spyware laden site created by pretty shady people
). Though the aim of the crackdown is seemingly to protect children from online predators, many suspended journals and communities apparently had nothing to do with promoting pedophilia, and the broad-based approach taken by livejournal has many users irate
(over 3700 comments as of posting), especially in light of the fact that that neither livejournal
nor the owner Six Apart
have publically addressed users, though Six Apart did speak to CNET as linked above.
posted by 6550
on May 30, 2007 -
Soldiers may no longer use MySpace to communicate with family.
The Defense Department will begin "worldwide" blocking access, as of today, to YouTube
, Hi5, Pandora
, and Photobucket
on its computers and networks, according to a memo sent Friday by Gen. B.B. Bell, the U.S. Forces Korea commander. Note that most soldiers deployed in war zones don't have access to any network outside of the military network.
posted by dejah420
on May 14, 2007 -
An Indonesian TV crew was invited to Malaysia for their Visit Malaysia Year 2007 campaign but encountered many problems. They write up about it
- and start a flurry of comments and controversy across the Malaysian government about blogging. [more inside]
posted by divabat
on Apr 6, 2007 -
Although I Am Dead
) (Parts 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
) Compelling documentary by Hu Jie
(胡杰) on the death during the Cultural Revolution of Bian Zhongyun (卞仲耘), recalled by her now octogenarian husband. He photographed her corpse after she was beaten to death by Red Guards, students at the middle school of which she was deputy principal. The film's inclusion in the documentary section of YunFest
has apparently led to the authorities shutting down the event
posted by Abiezer
on Apr 5, 2007 -
Feds seek to gag D.C. Madam this madam threatens to spill the names about the biggies that used her services and so:
[...]government lawyers claim that some discovery documents contain "personal information" about Palfrey's former johns and prostitutes that is "sensitive." The prosecution filing does not detail the nature of this confidential information, though the identity of Palfrey's D.C. customers would surely be cloaked if the protective order was signed by Judge Gladys Kessler[...]
posted by Postroad
on Mar 7, 2007 -
Bill O'Reilly does a respectably good interview with... Marilyn Manson
! This is surprising on so many levels. And the content, superb. Well worth the viewing. [video link] via Cyberdork via Reddit
posted by five fresh fish
on Feb 28, 2007 -
Malaysian bookstore Silverfish Books recently pubhlished a list of books restricted by the Malaysian Home Ministry
(confiscated at the border by Customs) - a list that includes Chinese teapots
, children's prayers
, and Dora the Explorer
. Banned books & magazines aren't exactly news
in Malaysia; indeed, possession of said books can lead to severe penalties, even jail time
.The Opposition has made a statement
before, but that hasn't led anywhere. However, since Silverfish's list, Malaysian bloggers have had enough with the arbitrary and Kafka-esque bans and restrictions, and have come together to form Manuscripts Don't Burn
, to protest and talk about banned books and the larger issue of freedom of speech in Malaysia.
posted by divabat
on Nov 7, 2006 -
of the liberal Air America Radio Network
is old news. What's new is a leaked ABC memo to affiliates (.pdf original
) listing 90 corporations and major advertisers that stipulated that their ads not be aired during the broadcast of Air America content.
Is there any hope that radio or television news in the United States can report stories that do not uniformly support the goals and viewpoints of the S&P 500?
There are of course, alternative models
. Is it time for a PBS Newschanel
posted by washburn
on Nov 4, 2006 -
of 'Jerry Springer the Opera' fame discusses the rise of religious intolerance to comments the believer disagree's with. Interesting in that this is not just the usual freedom loving athiest vs. god loving believers, but that we also have religious people arguing that God can survive some satire and deploring the fundamentalist intolerance of dissent. Prt 2
posted by Gratishades
on Sep 25, 2006 -
Raed Jarrar was coming home from Jordan wearing a T-shirt with the phrase "We will not be silent" in Arabic script and English. Other JetBlue passengers who could not read the Arabic were "offended" and she was apprehended by security and asked to replace it
. She also had her seat changed to the back of the plane. Variations on T-shirt airline censorship have happened before
, but, taken to extremes, the fear of foreign language has spawned some unpleasant nights
. Where is the line drawn? And where is the path to multicultural reconciliation?
posted by ed
on Aug 21, 2006 -
PM of Malaysia: Those who spread untruths on the Net will be detained
Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Prime Minister of Malaysia, warned all bloggers that "if information in blogs, websites and online portals were incorrect, bordered on slander, caused disturbance or compelled the public to lose faith in the nation’s economic policies, their authors would be detained for investigation". The Malaysian government is even considering adjusting the Printing Presses and Publications Act^
to include blogs and online media.
This comes hot on the heels of a government-ordered media blackout
on Article 11
, a coalition of NGOs dedicated to upholding the principles of Article 11 of the Malaysian constitution, about freedom of religion, after several protests
claiming Article 11 to be anti-Muslim and confusing it with the now-defunct Interfaith Comission Initiative
, which aimed to be a body of people of different faiths raising awareness about diversity of religion and working together on religious issues.
Minister of Energy, Water, and Communications Dr Lim Keng Yaik said that they will not censor the Internet
(as promised when the Multimedia Super Corridor
was launched), but after events such as prominent Malaysian political blogger Jeff Ooi being investigated over a supposedly offensive comment
on his blog entry about Islam in 2005, and alternative news source MalaysiaKini
's office raided after carrying a letter critical of the ruling party's policies
in 2003, no one is really quite sure.
posted by divabat
on Aug 3, 2006 -
Blogspot, Geocities, and TypePad blocked in India.
Indian ISPs, who had been ordered by the Indian government to block certain
, have blocked the entire blogspot.com, geocities.com, and typepad.com
(by IP), rendering hundreds of thousands of blogs inaccessible in India. The block
was ordered by the government apparently because terrorists were using blogs to
co-ordinate their activities. Indian bloggers, upset
at the blanket ban
, have started
to keep track of the situation. They have also created a mailing
to discuss the issue. Some prominent
tracking updates. Indian laws require
ISPs to install filtering equipment and follow government orders to block sites,
or the can lose their licence to operate. This is not the first time such an
incident has occurred. In 2003, the government ordered a block on a Yahoo group
that was supposedly anti-national. Indian ISPs ended up blocking
Yahoo Groups completely
. India's recently introduced Right-to-Information
, which many bloggers are planning to use, gives the government 30
days to respond to an RTI request. In the interim, despite national
and international coverage
of the issue from the likes of New York Times
(linked earlier), Washington
, and WSJ
(paid reg. required), these major blogging sites remain blocked.
posted by madman
on Jul 19, 2006 -
What is a wikipedian?
Every so often a Wikipedian comes to their senses, sees a problem with the way things are operating, and tries to do something about it. Tired of seeing articles carelessly deleted, censored, and then cherry picked as to what is "encyclopedic enough", several Wikipedia members formed "Wikipedians against censorship".
posted by PeterMcDermott
on Apr 17, 2006 -
New Jersey Assemblyman Peter Biondi
didn't like that he
and his friends
are getting flamed
on the news portal NJ.com by people named, inter alia, "frenchtoast2." So he introduced a bill,
and that bill would require "operators of interactive computer services" to make members' real names available upon demand, and allow content providers to be sued for contributory defamation. And he saw that this was good.
And that was the first day.
posted by Saucy Intruder
on Mar 7, 2006 -
"We can't do anything about it. We just have to obey.
" Fulton (Mo.) High School drama students learn that resistance is futile.
posted by Saucy Intruder
on Feb 11, 2006 -
Google Images Censored in China
A picture says 1000 words, and Google.cn is censoring them all. Check out the side-by-side screens of a search for "tiananmen+square" in Google.com and Google.cn images. Looks like a nice place, with little historical significance. You can try the search yourself
. The text on the bottom left is the censorship disclaimer. Very different than our results
. A far cry from Google's claim
that they do not censor results. Nice to know that they stand up to the government here but not abroad.
A good spoof
of the whole thing.
posted by FeldBum
on Jan 30, 2006 -
The news you knew, yet didn't really know
Project Censored has become more and more relevant in our self-censored and compliant media. These are the top ten stories that received very little airplay or no air play at all.
It makes the Baby Jesus cry. . .
posted by mk1gti
on Jan 28, 2006 -
Don't be evil.
Online search engine leader Google Inc. has agreed to censor its results in China, adhering to the country's free-speech restrictions in return for better access in the Internet's fastest growing market. Google will roll out a new version of its search engine bearing China's Web suffix ".cn," on Wednesday.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood
on Jan 24, 2006 -
Microsoft takes down chinese language blog critical of Beijing
This was on the global (.com) site not
a .cn site. Meaning this policy affects all Chinese speakers all over the world, including in the US. Interestingly, the pressure seems to have been commercial, as a commercial Chinese blogging company took Microsoft to task for allowing the commentary. Is globalization exporting censorship?
posted by delmoi
on Jan 3, 2006 -
Every weekly meeting causes me to feel ashamed. I listen to people lie. I listen to people lie shamelessly and authoritatively. And you cannot refute them. You cannot stand up and say, "You are lying. What are you lying?"
Tolerating lies is regarded as wisdom. Those who are anxious to speak the truth are regarded as being victims of too much hormone. People make fun of themselves this way, and then wisely say: "Those naive actions will only bring even worse consequences. Be mature, be rational, be practical. Research more issues and talk less about theories."
This was written
by an employee at The Beijing News
after three of it's head editors were fired from their positions last week
. The paper, one of the most progressive newspapers in China, was taken over by editors from The Guangming Daily
, a paper directly controlled by "The Ministry of Publicity"
. Via Eastwestnorthsouth
who translated the original blog post as well as this one
written by another member of the staff at The Beijing News
posted by afu
on Jan 2, 2006 -
Double Plus Ungood
--so there's this soldier in Iraq with a blog, All The King's Horses
. He usually complains a little, tells readers about what he does, talks about the stop-loss thing that's keeping him in Iraq, etc. So, the Operation Truth site posts something by him,
and the next thing you know, the blog is dead, and an unwilling public apology and retraction and statement of support for Bush and his leadership is posted. ... it breaks my heart to say that this will be my last post on this blog. I wish I could just stop there, but I can not. The following also needs to be said:
For the record, I am officially a supporter of the administration and of her policies. ...
posted by amberglow
on Oct 23, 2005 -
The Parents Television Council has released their list of the top 10 worst shows for family viewing.
The Fox network led the way with six of the ten shows, Family Guy, American Dad, The War at Home, The O.C., That 70s Show and Arrested Devlopment. The PTC also released a top-nine list of shows that are family friendly (they claim they couldn't find a 10th show to complete the list), leading the way is Three Wishes and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. They also accuse Fox of being deceptive with their marketing of their Sunday night lineup, and using cartoons to pedal the "filth" to children.
posted by SirOmega
on Oct 19, 2005 -
What you watch
Tucked deep inside a massive bill designed to track sex offenders and prevent children from being victimized by sex crimes is language that could put many Hollywood movies in the same category as hardcore, X-rated films. The provision added to the Children's Safety Act of 2005 would require any film, TV show or digital image that contains a sex scene to come under the same government filing requirements that adult films must meet.
posted by halekon
on Oct 12, 2005 -
Last week, a woman was forced off a Southwest Airlines flight for wearing a t-shirt.
The shirt in question bore the phrase "Meet the F*ckers" and an image of US President Bush, VP Cheney and Condoleezza Rice. The passenger, Lorrie Heasley, refused to remove it after other passengers complained. Apparently "Southwest rules filed with the FAA say they can remove a passenger that is offensive, abusive, disorderly or violent or for clothing that is "lewd, obscene, or patently offensive," but the airline says the curse (not the political message) led to her being asked to leave. Ms. Heasley is now speaking with the ACLU to see if she can initiate a lawsuit, but the NYTimes checked with experts in constitutional law and they don't think she has a case.
Well, the makers of the t-shirt have responded: "If any T-Shirt Hell customer is kicked off of any commercial airline flight simply for wearing one of our shirts, we will provide you with alternate transportation to get you to your original destination. This transportation includes, but is not limited to, the T-Shirt Hell corporate jet."
posted by zarq
on Oct 11, 2005 -
] - an exploration of the issues of censorship, dictatorship, human rights and the legacy of the Argentinian "Dirty War
", the 1976-1983 military junta's repression and extermination of dissidents (when 10,000 to 30,000 Argentinians were tortured and "disappeared"). Produced at the Jan van Eyck Academy of Fine Arts in Maastricht, the project presents striking comics and illustrations made between 2002 and 2005 by contemporary Argentinian artists, as well as text essays on the production of comics and cartoons during the dictatorship era.
posted by funambulist
on Sep 26, 2005 -