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He's a family guy!

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 - 56 comments

Porn and the rest of us

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 - 41 comments

The T-Shirt Terrorist?

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 - 221 comments

Guy Montag has job security

Once again, it's "Banned Books Week" in which we celebrate those books which have been challenged to be removed from public and school libraries. Although the Supreme Court ruled in 1982 that banning books from public access was unconstitutional, the effort remains. We can at least take comfort in knowing that, although opinions may vary, Americans don't actually burn books they hate.

Oops.
posted by DeepFriedTwinkies on Sep 26, 2005 - 43 comments

an illustrated memorial on the Argentinian Dirty War

Camouflage Comics [requires Flash] - 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 - 2 comments

Intolerance in Canada???

Despite our predominantly post-modern society in Canada, there are still pockets of ignorance and intolerance. The City of Surrey a very suburban suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia, is pretty much the capital of Canada when it comes to this. A high school (ages 13-18) was rehearsing to perform "The Laramie Project" - a play about the murder of an American student Matthew Shephard (who was gay) and tolerance when the Surrey School Board pulled the plug on it. The play had recently been performed in a high school in a smaller, but less rednecky suburb, Mission. This is the same school board that tried to ban two excellent books teaching children tolerance for their friends that may have two dads or two mums. The ban was overturned by the Supreme Court of Canada. Perhaps a play of this nature is appropriate for high school students? Whaddya think?
posted by SSinVan on Sep 22, 2005 - 65 comments

First Patriot Act Library Records Enforcement

The FBI has issued the first demand for library records under the Patriot Act. The library in question is somewhere in Bridgeport, CT. The ACLU is seeking an emergency court order to lift the FBI gag order, but they've been instructed by the gag to keep the person whose library records being sought (i.e., their client) a secret. What the ACLU has revealed is that the client is a member of the American Library Association (clearly, a front for terrorism). If any MeFites are interested in digging up additional details on this and start making calls, here's a good place to start. What indeed would the FBI consider so threatening?
posted by ed on Aug 26, 2005 - 57 comments

China Gets Sexy

"The explosion of suggestive images [in Chinese media and art] is partly a reflection of changes in Chinese society -- many sociologists say China is in the midst of a sweeping sexual revolution -- and partly due to market reforms...The government has not given the press free rein to publish material with sexual themes, but the way censorship is carried out means that some media outlets can get away with quite a lot. Rather than issue top-down decrees, Beijing's censors primarily react to existing material, so websites, whose content is easily removable, and publications far from Beijing, which are less likely to attract censors' attention, can take more chances. Still, articles on topics such as 'China's Janet Jackson,' a TV star who has twice revealed a breast in public, and the incidence of erectile dysfunction among China's urban men are now common in the national media."
posted by JPowers on Jul 30, 2005 - 14 comments

Walmartians Attack!

Walmart vs the free press again... other examples: the book mentioned in this thread is no longer available. This and that and the other thread too. Another point in a pattern of steadily increasing restriction of the press by this taxpayer funded mega -corp? Or simply a case of private enterprise making decisions in its own interest - nothing to see here, move along...
posted by dorcas on Jul 27, 2005 - 118 comments

Hey! Turd blossom! Get in here!

If the president can say it, why can't Gary Trudeau?
posted by ZachsMind on Jul 26, 2005 - 59 comments

I'm naked under this burka...

They hate Flickr for it's Freedom. An ISP (and government controlled monopoly) in the United Arab Emirates has decided to ban access to Flickr for it's citizens, apparently due to the complaints of a couple of UAE expats in the UK and Canada. Of course, said blockage won't apply to them. Most interestingly, they blame the rest of the world's non-flesh-fearing photographers as opposed to their ISP (and by proxy their own oppressive government.) Now Flickr joins Skype, AtomFilms, Friendster, AOL, and anything from Israels top-level domain, as outlawed content and services in the UAE (related study here). Well, if they don't care, why should we? Via linkfilter.
posted by rzklkng on Jun 22, 2005 - 28 comments

Unnecessary Censorship

Censorship is bad, but this is F*****ing hysterical. And by "F*****ing", I of course mean "Friday posting" (Quicktime movie. Extremely sfw yet, oddly, not)
posted by haricotvert on Jun 17, 2005 - 27 comments

Coming soon to a country near you

Micros[censored] Helps China [censored] Bl[censored]s. "This topic contains forbidden words. Please delete them."
posted by digaman on Jun 14, 2005 - 8 comments

Editor of Jesuit Magazine Leaves After Complaints

Articles of Faith "By inviting articles that covered different sides of disputed issues, Father Reese helped make America Magazine a forum for intelligent discussion of questions facing the Catholic Church and the country today." Thomas J. Reese's policy -- to present both sides of the discussion -- apparentlly "did not sit well with Vatican authorities". Reese, a Jesuit and a political scientist, had made a point of publishing both sides of the debate on a range of subjects, some of them quite delicate for a Catholic magazine -- gay priests, stem-cell research, the responsibility of Catholic politicians confronting laws on abortion and same-sex unions and a Vatican document (the Dominus Iesus declaration) which outlined the idea that divine truth is most fully revealed in Christianity and the Catholic Church in particular.
Reese, who had described last month the Vatican as behaving like the cranky owner of a good restaurant, resigned yesterday as editor of the magazine. More inside.
posted by matteo on May 9, 2005 - 17 comments

"Unintelligible at any speed."

"Unintelligible at any speed." No, not Ralph Nader mumbling, but the lyrics to "Louie Louie," in the FBI's humble assessment more than 40 years ago. Nevertheless, this week a Michigan school superintendent banned a middle school marching band from playing the song... even without anyone singing the lyrics.
posted by twsf on May 5, 2005 - 47 comments

See no evil

"Censorship does not keep us from doing evil—it just blocks us from seeing it." A (to many, probably surprising) Christian perspective on smut-removing DVD players and other forms of censorship.
posted by ubernostrum on May 3, 2005 - 36 comments

Security by obscurity my ass

Interesting followup on this story previously posted here concerning the killing of an italian senior intelligence agent by U.S. Forces during an hostage rescue mission (a.k.a. the Sgregna Case). Yesterday the italian public received this PDF file containing an extremely detailed U.S. military report on the alleged accident. Many lines in the report were "blacked out" as the author probably considered them unclassified, yet sensible information (like the name who the guy who shot the car). It turns out the author don't know jack about pdf and here is the unblackened report[DOC Format] in all its details, most probably exposed by some computer savy guy in italian media.
posted by elpapacito on May 1, 2005 - 49 comments

The best of the worst of the week on television.

The best of the worst of the week on television. The Parents Television Council, a U.S.-based watchdog organization trying to stamp out indecency on the airwaves, is doing their part in the war against moral turpitude. How? By creating a website where they host videos of the most offensive scenes on television... inadvertently creating some of the most amusing content on the internet!
posted by insomnia_lj on Apr 15, 2005 - 84 comments

Keystone Kops Nick Numerals

"Freedom of speech does not exist, don't try to test it." Anarchist web portals Infoshop.org and flag.blackened.net are under investigation by the FBI. While site operators are under gag order and cannot discuss the specifics of the situation that prompted this action, they confirm that logged IPs have been handed over under threat of arrest and seizure. This is eerily familiar. Just how slippery has this particular slope become?
posted by Embryo on Mar 29, 2005 - 70 comments

Like The L Word, Stay Away From Ohio Kids

Watching "The L Word" might cost an Ohio cop her job. A police officer assigned to a school in Camden, Ohio may lose her job because a few students saw that she had a screen saver which included promotional photos for a TV show that featured (gasp) lesbians. Remind me again why anyone with brains bothers to live in rural Ohio any longer?
posted by the wind on Mar 16, 2005 - 73 comments

Senator: Decency Rules Should Apply to Pay TV, Radio

Senator: Decency Rules Should Apply to Pay TV, Radio. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens said he disagreed "violently" with assertions by the cable industry that Congress does not have the authority to impose limits on its content. "If that's the issue they want to take on, we'll take it on and let the Supreme Court decide," he said.
posted by johnnydark on Mar 1, 2005 - 39 comments

Vagina Monologues promotes sin in Africa

The Vagina Monologues is, to the outrage of many, being staged at a cultural center in Kampala, Uganda, East Africa. For the past few weeks, the play has been a key topic of debate, with many radio stations even refusing to utter the name of the play out loud, and shaming call-in listeners that do. Today, the local media council announced that “to the extent that the play promotes illegal, unnatural sexual acts, homosexuality and prostitution, it should be and is hereby banned, citing the play as "a smokescreen for graphic lesbian pornography" and that the play's "graphic descriptions of masturbation, rape, and genital mutilation in a manner that is “abhorrent, outrageous and disgusting." Local NGOs are even refusing to accept funds generated by the sale of tickets.
posted by Kololo on Feb 17, 2005 - 32 comments

Thou shalt not criticize Republicans

"80 percent or so of them (professors) are Democrats, liberals or socialists or card-carrying Communists." So says Ohio Senator Larry A. Mumper, who has introduced an "academic bill of rights for higher education," which would prohibit professors from "persistently discussing controversial issues in class or from using their classes to push political, ideological, religious or anti-religious views." The text of the bill is adapted from an organization founded by Marxist-turned-conservative activist David Horowitz. Similar bills have been introduced in other states. Is this a genuine attempt to foster "intellectual diversity", or a "trojan horse" to force universities to adopt a quota system for conservative professors?
posted by googly on Feb 15, 2005 - 130 comments

FCC lets one go by.

FCC Denies PTC's complaints. (Salon article, get daypass or bugmenot) The FCC succinctly denied (pdf) the 36 count complaint from dismayed Parents Television Council. We've talked about previous decisions here and here - could this be a light at the end of the tunnel?
posted by beezy on Feb 1, 2005 - 18 comments

Spongebob joins an all-star cast

Spongebob is pointed at as causing moral decay today. But the idea of blaming animated characters for societal ills is nothing new. The 1934 Production Code changed the scantily-clad Betty Boop into a wholesome girl. Racial stereotyping dominated cartoons of the 1940s. The Flintstones even shilled for Winston cigarettes. Should cartoon characters reflect the morals of cartoon watchers?
posted by u.n. owen on Jan 28, 2005 - 30 comments

Cancer, Chemicals and History

Cancer, Chemicals and History. Some of the biggest chemical companies in the US have launched a campaign to discredit two historians who have written a book about the industry's efforts to conceal links between their products and cancer. Some of the internal documents referenced in the book can be found at the Chemical Industry Archives, a site dedicated to exposing the industry's attempts to conceal the dangers of their products. [Via Disinformation.]
posted by homunculus on Jan 26, 2005 - 12 comments

Blogs help reform in Iran

Blogs contribute to political reform in Iran (New York Times): Former vice-president of Iran, Mohammad Ali Abtahi, said that he learned through the Internet about the huge gap between government officials and the younger generation. "We do not understand each other and cannot have a dialogue," he said. "As government officials, we receive a lot of confidential reports about what goes on in society. But I have felt that I learned a lot more about people and the younger generation by reading their Web logs and receiving about 40 to 50 e-mails every day. This is so different than reading about society in those bulletins from behind our desks."
posted by hoder on Jan 16, 2005 - 7 comments

They were just collecting dust anyway.

The city of Salinas, CA has decided to address budget concerns by cutting a number of services*. Most surprising, though, is the decision to raise ~$7Mil. (or 2, depending on the PDF) by closing all of the libraries* (hey, at least they're not burning novels) in a town whose population is mostly Hispanic.
Reminds me of that bumper sticker: "Welcome to America: Learn English."
Which begs the question; Where?

*pdf; 5% fewer calories than leading brands.
posted by odinsdream on Dec 27, 2004 - 57 comments

freedom of speech?

new york art show shuttered due to controversial portrait of the president
beginning of the end of free speech?
posted by specialk420 on Dec 15, 2004 - 70 comments

Whose sorry now?

Who's sorry now? Artists! Have you ever felt the need to apologise for the hurt caused by your Satan promoting work? Have you ever been forced to apologise or see your public funding withheld in contravention of the European Convention on Human Rights? Have you then decided to say sorry by organising a parade, whipping yourself and leaving wreaths outside cityhall?
posted by Damienmce on Dec 15, 2004 - 6 comments

Disney's War Against the Counterculture.

Disney's War Against the Counterculture. Parody Mickey Mouse and see your life turn to madness, even if things are more or set straight in the end. “The main point,” O’Neill says, “was to buck corporate thinking. We just didn’t like bullshit.” [via]
posted by Sticherbeast on Dec 9, 2004 - 8 comments

PTC won't let the FCC be?

The mice that roar. "According to a new FCC estimate obtained by Mediaweek, nearly all indecency complaints in 2003—99.8 percent—were filed by the Parents Television Council, an activist group." We already know what a few people can do to your television viewing... is this man effectively in charge of the FCC's indecency monitoring?
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Dec 7, 2004 - 15 comments

Tali-banned

Secret Service investigates high school band Coalition of the Willing for performing a Bob Dylan song. Actually, for wanting to perform a Bob Dylan song. Parents freak out.
posted by swift on Nov 15, 2004 - 59 comments

Chilling Private Ryan

The Chilling Effect. Some ABC affiliates have opted not to broadcast a scheduled airing of Saving Private Ryan, due to concerns over new FCC indecency regulations. They don't want to get fined. The FCC won't say in advance whether the film is indecent ("that would be censorship"). But don't worry, the Parents Televsion Council says the "context" makes it OK. Which is fine, but who utlimately gets to judge the context?
posted by jpoulos on Nov 11, 2004 - 75 comments

Some Might Call it Censorship

Google Blocks Abu Ghraib Images
I went to Google Images to search for it. "Abu Ghraib" brought up only photos of the outside of the prison. Not a single photo from the scandal. Next I searched for "Lynndie England", not a single picture. Next I decided to look for "Charles Graner" her boyfriend who was also prominently features in the pictures, nothing.
See for yourself.
posted by destro on Nov 6, 2004 - 71 comments

Your Reaction to the 2004 Presidential Election, Uncensored

Your Reaction to the 2004 Presidential Election, Uncensored. nothing you say here will be edited in any way whatsoever. please respect that, and your fellow contributors to this open discussion.
posted by b1tr0t on Nov 4, 2004 - 32 comments

Funding Censorship

Do tax dollars fund censorship? Not the only example. When businesses get incentives from government, does this constitute endorsement? How constitutional is it?
posted by ewkpates on Oct 29, 2004 - 7 comments

Roadmap for the Prosecution

Terrorising free speech. Al Lorentz is a reserve Non-Commissioned Officer currently serving in Iraq. His blazingly clear, succinct article on Iraq, titled "Why we cannot win", has raged over the wires (also at MeFi) since it was published on LewRockwell.com. Now, the military chain of command is considering charging Al with violation of Article 134 for making a statement with the intent to promote disloyalty or disaffection toward the U.S. by any member of the Armed forces. The military is also considering charging Al with violation of 1344.10, the conduct of partisan political activity, and violation of Standards of Conduct for unauthorized use of Government assets to create and email stories.
posted by acrobat on Sep 29, 2004 - 30 comments

Israel and Palestine, Choosing Sides

Pressure Groups and Censorship in Israel/Palestine. "I suspect that the causes are complicated and multi-factorial. I suspect that I and others like me – who remained ignorant and negligent on this issue for so long – bear much of the guilt. I suspect that others whose emotional ties to Israel served as blinders on this subject share in our culpability. I suspect that still others who knew the truth and refused to speak of it, or who participated in its cover-up, bear a significant portion of this awful responsibility. I suspect that the career damage and death threats that often result when one begins to speak out on this issue played a part."
posted by acrobat on Sep 24, 2004 - 33 comments

Censored! Nothing to see here, move on to the funny pages please.

The 10 big stories the national news media ignore
"Every year researchers at Project Censored pick through volumes of print and broadcast news to see which of the past year's most important stories aren't receiving the kind of attention they deserve. Phillips and his team acknowledge that many of these stories weren't "censored" in the traditional sense of the word: No government agency blocked their publication. And some even appeared – briefly and without follow-up – in mainstream journals."
Surprise, surprise, most of the stories have to do with the current administration. Some of the stories are pretty shockingly awful, like (links are to referenced resources for the list) 3. Bush administration manipulates science and censors scientists, 4. High uranium levels found in troops and civilians, 5. Wholesale giveaway of our natural resources, 8. Secrets of Cheney's energy task force come to light and finally, 10. New nuke plants: taxpayers support, industry profits.
And people say Kerry gets a free pass by the media?
via Captain Normal (again).
posted by fenriq on Sep 3, 2004 - 31 comments

The Mind Reels

What is the justice department trying to censor in the ACLU's case against the Patriot Act? Anything they feel like, apparantly, including quotes from The Supreme Court. [via boingboing]
posted by ursus_comiter on Aug 29, 2004 - 42 comments

Iran systematically filters political websites

Iran systematically filters political websites: In contrast with what the Iranaian President had said in the UN summit on Information Technology last year, the OpenNet Initiative, in its latest bulletin, concludes that "Iran is indeed engaged in extensive Internet content filtering beyond just pornography, including many political, religious, social, and blogging websites.
"Most of these censored websites are Iran-specific; very little non-pornographic, "global" content is filtered from Iranian users. "
posted by hoder on Aug 19, 2004 - 8 comments

Would you like that thought wrapped up? No thanks, I'll think it here

That book is inappropriate We don't cotton to that kinda thing on my ferry son.
posted by Capn on Aug 11, 2004 - 60 comments

G.O.P. D.O.A.

G.O.P. D.O.A., the new novel by Brooklyn-based Contemporary Press, just got denied a reprinting by St. Louis-based Plus Communications. Although they printed the first edition less than one month ago, the publisher says that their religious clients would be upset by the book's 'language' and have refused to reprint it.

I guess that is in the same spirit as Rev. Breedlove's attempt to rekindle the tradition of book burning earlier this month.
posted by Miyagi on Jul 28, 2004 - 12 comments

It comes full circle

Al-Jazeera, best known in the West for reporting on the Taliban and US-Iraq war, has, today, been approved to broadcast in Canada, amidst complaints from Jewish groups, such as the B'nai Brith, who are worried the content may be anti-semetic. What makes this interesting? Al-Jazeera will be one of the few news stations in Canada specifically warned by the Canadian government that it must censor itself for content.
posted by shepd on Jul 15, 2004 - 38 comments

BookFilters

The Forbidden Library.
posted by Gyan on Jul 12, 2004 - 26 comments

How they censor Tintin comic books in Iran

How they censor Tintin comic books in Iran
posted by hoder on Jul 8, 2004 - 12 comments

Big government in boardrooms, bad; in bedrooms, good

The CDC recently issued new HIV prevention guidelines that would mandate all organizations that get any federal funding to submit all surveys, curricula, web materials, posters, ads, brochures, etc. to new community-based Policy Review Panels. Politically appointed censors rather than health officials will now decide what's acceptable in terms of HIV prevention and education. Materials must promote abstinence and include a message about the ineffectiveness of condom use in preventing the spread of HIV and STDs. There is a period of public comment on the new regulations until August 16. - more inside -
posted by madamjujujive on Jul 1, 2004 - 39 comments

South Korea blocks major weblog services.

Mr. Roh, tear down this firewall! South Korea's previous efforts to censor the beheading video of Kim Sun-Il have escalated considerably. They are now blocking most major weblog services, including Blogger/Blogspot, TypePad, and LiveJournal -- a degree of censorship for weblogs even greater than that of China. The rallying cry of opposition seems to be centering around this letter :
"I am writing this letter not primarily to criticize all Koreans .... No, my purpose is more specific: to cause the South Korean government as much embarrassment as possible, and perhaps to motivate Korean citizens to engage in some much-needed introspection. To this end, I need the blogosphere's help .... The best and quickest way to persuade the South Korean government to back down from its current position is to make it lose face in the eyes of the world." If you are interested in giving the South Korean Ministry of Information and Culture a piece of your mind, please email them at: webmaster@mic.go.kr.
posted by insomnia_lj on Jul 1, 2004 - 16 comments

Iran blocks Movable Type

Iran has censored Movable Type's website The blacklist contains over 800 Persian websites, including many political websites and weblogs, as well as many entertainment websites.
posted by hoder on Jun 22, 2004 - 7 comments

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