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paddy power bet on blackA press ad by Paddy Power bookmakers, seen in the 23 August 2017 edition of the Evening Standard and the 24 August 2017 edition of the Metro, featured the headline claim ALWAYS BET ON BLACK alongside an image of Floyd Mayweather. Further text stated WE’VE PAID OUT EARLY ON A MAYWEATHER VICTORY BECAUSE WE CHECKED, AND ONLY ONE OF THEM IS A BOXER.

Nine complainants, who considered that the headline contained an obvious reference to Floyd Mayweather’s race, challenged whether the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

Power Leisure Bookmakers Ltd t/a Paddy Power said the ad was not intended to cause offence on the grounds of race. They said the headline was a gambling related pun as the fight was taking place in Las Vegas and betting on black was a roulette reference. They acknowledged that the headline referred to Floyd Mayweather’s race, but said it was not used in a derogatory, distasteful or offensive manner and the overall tone of the ad was light-hearted and humorous. They said the early pay out was not based on Floyd Mayweather’s race but on his experience as a professional boxer compared with Conor McGregor who had never boxed professionally.

Paddy Power said the campaign was approved by Floyd Mayweather who found the line funny, rather than offensive or derogatory. The phrase always bet on black was embroidered on the underwear Floyd Mayweather’s wore at the official weigh-in for the match in Las Vegas. Floyd Mayweather also posted an image of himself wearing the underwear on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #alwaysbetonblack, which was not part of the sponsorship deal.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

The CAP Code required marketers to ensure that ads did not contain anything that was likely to cause serious or widespread offence, and for particular care to be taken to avoid causing offence on the grounds of race. The ad appeared in the sports section of two free untargeted newspapers, and was therefore likely to have been seen by a wide-range of people. It featured the prominent headline Always Bet on Black, alongside an image of the boxer Floyd Mayweather, who was a black male. We considered that readers would interpret the headline to be a pun on Floyd Mayweather’s race and betting on roulette. We understood that the headline was also intended to be a reference to a 1992 film quote. There was, however, nothing further in the ad which indicated that the headline was a film quote, and we considered that many readers would be unfamiliar with the quote.

We acknowledged that the headline claim did not make a negative statement about Floyd Mayweather’s race and had endorsed him to win the match. We also acknowledged that Floyd Mayweather had authorised the claim. However, we considered that readers would nevertheless be offended by the invitation to always bet on the outcome of a boxing match based on a boxer’s race, and the message that the boxing match was a fight between two different races. For those reasons, we concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious offence on the grounds of race.

We told Paddy Power to ensure they avoided causing serious offence on the grounds of race.

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Demoniac DVD Demoniac/Exorcism is a 1981 Spanish/French horror by Jess Franco.
With Lina Romay, Catherine Lafferière and Jesus Franco.
YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb UK: Passed 18 uncut for strong sexualised violence, sex, nudity, with all previous BBFC cuts waived for:

  • 2017 Screenbound/Black House Films R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 6th November 2017

UK Censorship History

Banned by the BBFC from 1985 until 2003 when it was passed 18 after 2:25s of cuts. The BBFC cuts were waived for 2017 DVD. There are multiple versions with different mixes of sex and violence including a hardcore version.

See further details at Melon Farmers Film Cuts: Demoniac

Promotional Material

A former Catholic priest, who was tossed from the priesthood for his way-too-liberal beliefs, now writes S&M articles for a French magazine. Having been a witness to Black Masses complete with phony sacrifices, he deems himself judge and sets out to kill those people he feels are destined to spend eternity in Hell. ENGLISH DUBBED (also French w/ English Subtitles)

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censored repo man Harry Dean Stanton, the veteran American actor who ballasted generations of independent and cult films, has died aged 91. The subject of the late critic Roger Ebert’s Stanton Walsh Rule — No movie featuring either Harry Dean Stanton or M Emmet Walsh in a supporting role can be altogether bad — Stanton was famed for his ability to project his hangdog, laconic charm into minor roles, which ensured he worked continuously for over six decades. Directors who cast him include David Lynch, Sam Peckinpah, Ridley Scott, Alex Cox and Wim Wenders, but he was never nominated for an Oscar or any of the other principal acting awards.Alex Cox’s Repo Man was inspirational to this website, by cining the term ‘melonfarmer’ as an overdub for ‘motherfucker’ in a TV edit of the movie. The video clip shows Harry Dean Stanton being ‘flipped’ over by his boss.

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Ofcom logoTV and internet censors Ofcom have introduced the concept of reduced fines for those censorship rule breakers who admit their guilt. Ofcom explains:

On 28 June 2017, following consultation, we published new Enforcement guidelines for regulatory investigations. Among other things, these documents set out a new process for settlement of an investigation falling within the scope of the Guidelines and the Procedures. Settlement is a voluntary process in which the regulated body admits it has breached relevant regulatory requirements and accepts that the remainder of the investigation will follow a streamlined administrative procedure. In successful settlement cases, Ofcom will apply a discount to the level of the penalty in light of the resource savings involved in following a streamlined administrative procedure.

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The Slayer Blu-ray The Slayer is a 1982 USA horror by JS Cardone.
Starring Sarah Kendall, Frederick Flynn and Carol Kottenbrook. IMDb UK: Passed 18 uncut for:

  • 2017 Arrow Video (RB) Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 21st August 2017

UK Censorship History

Banned as a video nasty in 1983. Unbanned and passed 18 after 14s of BBFC cuts in 1992. Cuts waived in 2001. Uncut and MPAA R rated in the US.

Promotional Material

IS IT A NIGHTMARE? OR IS IT… THE SLAYER?

One of the most sought-after titles for slasher fans everywhere, The Slayer finally rises from the ashes of obscurity in a brand new 4K transfer courtesy of Arrow Video.

Two young couples set off to a secluded island for what promises to be a restful retreat. But the peace is short-lived: as a storm batters the island, troubled artist Kay begins to sense that a malevolent presence is here with them, stalking them at every turn. Is she losing her mind, or are her childhood nightmares of a demonic assailant coming to terrifying life?

Previously only available on home video in truncated or full screen versions, The Slayer whose nightmares-seeping-into-reality theme predates a certain Wes Craven classic by several years comes lovingly restored from the original negative in a stunning transfer that will be a revelation to fans both old and new.

SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS

  • Brand new restoration from a 4K scan of the original negative
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
  • Original Uncompressed Mono Audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Brand new interviews with cast and crew
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Justin Osbourn
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Lee Gambin
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playgroundPlac zabaw is a 2016 Poland thriller by Bartosz M Kowalski.
Starring Michalina Swistun, Nicolas Przygoda and Przemyslaw Balinski. IMDb

Final day of school in a small Polish town. It’s the very last chance for a 12 year old Gabrysia to tell her classmate that she had fallen in love with him. She sets up a secret meeting and blackmails the boy to show up. But what was supposed to be an intimate talk spins out of control and leads to an unexpected ending.

A film has been okayed for screening at the Sydney Film Festival that depicts the murder of a toddler by 2 boys along the lines of the 1993 James Bulger murder in Liverpool.

The scene in a Polish movie called Playground has been approved for a festival showing by the Australian Classification Board. Festival director Stefan Popescu said the Board had granted an exemption to the festival to screen unclassified films – including several depicting graphic sex and violence – without asking to view any of them.

Popescu noted that Playground has no extreme close-up gore, blood spurts or manic chainsaw scenes but noted that the murder scene prompted viewers to walk out of a screening of the movie at a Spanish film festival last year.

Poster Kuso 2017 Flying Lotus Kuso is a 2017 USA horror drama by Flying Lotus.
Starring Hannibal Buress, George Clinton and David Firth. IMDb

Events unfold after a devastating earthquake in Los Angeles.

The Sydney Underground Film Festival will also screen Kuso , a film depicting an abortion, bodily functions, and graphic scenes of mutilation and sexual violence. Popescu noted:

It’s got near every possible offensive thing in the film, so I guess there is a real chance that the censors would get up in arms about it.

Think of every potential trigger-warning and this film has it covered.

Described as the grossest movie ever made, Kuso prompted viewers to walk out when it was screened at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.

A cockroach emerging from a body orifice, actors fornicating with puppets and animated characters, and scenes awash with bodily fluids – presented with deadpan humour – are among the tamer episodes in Kuso .

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yale logoFacebook touts its partnership with outside fact-checkers as a key prong in its fight against fake news, but a major new Yale University study finds that fact-checking and then tagging inaccurate news stories on social media doesn’t work.The study , reported for the first time by POLITICO, found that tagging false news stories as disputed by third party fact-checkers has only a small impact on whether readers perceive their headlines as true. Overall, the existence of disputed tags made participants just 3.7 percentage points more likely to correctly judge headlines as false, the study said.

The researchers also found that, for some groups–particularly, Trump supporters and adults under 26–flagging bogus stories could actually end up increasing the likelihood that users will believe fake news. This because not all fake stories are fact checked, and the absence of a warning tends to add to the credibility of an unchecked, but fake, story.

Researchers Gordon Pennycook & David G. Rand of Yale University write in their abstract:

Assessing the effect of disputed warnings and source salience on perceptions of fake news accuracy

What are effective techniques for combatting belief in fake news? Tagging fake articles with Disputed by 3rd party fact-checkers warnings and making articles’ sources more salient by adding publisher logos are two approaches that have received large-scale rollouts on social media in recent months.

Here we assess the effect of these interventions on perceptions of accuracy across seven experiments [involving 7,534 people].

With respect to disputed warnings, we find that tagging articles as disputed did significantly reduce their perceived accuracy relative to a control without tags, but only modestly (d=.20, 3.7 percentage point decrease in headlines judged as accurate).

Furthermore, we find a backfire effect — particularly among Trump supporters and those under 26 years of age — whereby untagged fake news stories are seen as more accurate than in the control.

We also find a similar spillover effect for real news, whose perceived accuracy is increased by the presence of disputed tags on other headlines.

With respect to source salience, we find no evidence that adding a banner with the logo of the headline’s publisher had any impact on accuracy judgments whatsoever.

Together, these results suggest that the currently deployed approaches are not nearly enough to effectively undermine belief in fake news, and new (empirically supported) strategies are needed.

Presented with the study, a Facebook spokesperson questioned the researchers’ methodology–pointing out that the study was performed via Internet survey, not on Facebook’s platform–and added that fact-checking is just one part of the company’s efforts to combat fake news. Those include disrupting financial incentives for spammers, building new products and helping people make more informed choices about the news they read, trust and share, the spokesperson said.

The Facebook spokesman added that the articles created by the third party fact-checkers have uses beyond creating the disputed tags. For instance, links to the fact checks appear in related article stacks beside other similar stories that Facebook’s software identifies as potentially false. They are powering other systems that limit the spread of news hoaxes and information, the spokesperson said.