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jeremy cunt Victoria Derbyshire is the BBC’s arch social justice warrior and a daytime news presenter. She was introducing an interview with several Tory party leadership candidates including Jeremy Hunt. She introduced him as Jeremy Cunt, a nickname popular with those opposing his policies to privatise parts of the NHS.And is if to confirm the underlying psyche that gave rise to this Freudian slip, Derbyshire went on to have a knock at men saying this was something that men usually say.

Having heard the nickname, it has a certain rhythm to it and sticks in the mind. I sure that this won’t be the last time that this gets aired.

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DCMS logo Advertisers have launched a scathing attack on the government’s plans to introduce further restrictions on junk food advertising, describing them as totally disproportionate and lacking in evidence.In submissions to a government consultation, seen exclusively by City A.M. , industry bodies Isba and the Advertising Association (AA) said the proposals would harm advertisers and consumers but would fail to tackle the issue of childhood obesity.

The government has laid out plans to introduce a 9pm watershed on adverts for products high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) on TV and online .

But the advertising groups have dismissed the policy options, which were previously rejected by media regulator Ofcom, as limited in nature and speculative in understanding.

The AA said current restrictions, which have been in place since 2008, have not prevented the rise of obesity, while children’s exposure to HFSS adverts has also fallen sharply over the last decade.

In addition, Isba argued a TV watershed would have a significant and overwhelming impact on adult viewers, who make up the majority of audiences before 9pm.

They also pointed to an impact assessment, published alongside the consultation, which admitted the proposed restrictions would cut just 1.7 calories per day from children’s diets.

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adolf hitler YouTube has decided to adopt a widespread censorship rule to ban the promotion of hate speech. Google wrote:

Today, we’re taking another step in our hate speech policy by specifically prohibiting videos alleging that a group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion based on qualities like age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status.

However for all the Artificial Intelligence it has at its disposal the company cannot actually work out which videos promote hate speech. Instead it has taken to banning videos referencing more easily identifiable images such as Nazi symbology, regardless of the context in which they are presented.

For example YouTube has blocked some British history teachers from its service for uploading archive material related to Adolf Hitler.

Scott Allsopp, who owns the longrunning MrAllsoppHistory revision website and teaches at an international school in Romania, had his channel featuring hundreds of historical clips on topics ranging from the Norman conquest to the cold war deleted for breaching the rules that ban hate speech. Allsopp commented:

It’s absolutely vital that YouTube work to undo the damage caused by their indiscriminate implementation as soon as possible. Access to important material is being denied wholesale as many other channels are left branded as promoting hate when they do nothing of the sort.

While previous generations of history students relied on teachers playing old documentaries recorded on VHS tapes on a classroom television, they now use YouTube to show raw footage of the Nazis and famous speeches by Adolf Hitler.

Richard Jones-Nerzic, another British teacher affected by the crackdown, said that he had been censured for uploading clips to his channel from old documentaries about the rise of Nazism. Some of his clips now carry warnings that users might find the material offensive, while others have been removed completely. He said he was appealing YouTube’s deletion of archive Nazi footage taken from mainstream media outlets, arguing that this is in itself form of negationism or even holocaust denial.

Allsopp had his account reinstated on Thursday following an appeal but said he had been contacted by many other history teachers whose accounts have also been affected by the ban on hate speech. Users who do not swiftly appeal YouTube’s decisions could find their material removed for good.

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information commissioners office logo The Information Commissioner’s Office has for some bizarre reason have been given immense powers to censor the internet.And in an early opportunity to exert its power it has proposed a ‘regulation’ that would require strict age verification for nearly all mainstream websites that may have a few child readers and some material that may be deemed harmful for very young children. Eg news websites that my have glamour articles or perhaps violent news images.

In a mockery of ‘data protection’ such websites would have to implement strict age verification requiring people to hand over identity data to most of the websites in the world.

Unsurprisingly much of the internet content industry is unimpressed. A six weerk consultation on the new censorship rules has just closed and according to the Financial Times:

Companies and industry groups have loudly pushed back on the plans, cautioning that they could unintentionally quash start-ups and endanger people’s personal data. Google and Facebook are also expected to submit critical responses to the consultation.

Tim Scott, head of policy and public affairs at Ukie, the games industry body, said it was an inherent contradiction that the ICO would require individuals to give away their personal data to every digital service.

Dom Hallas, executive director at the Coalition for a Digital Economy (Coadec), which represents digital start-ups in the UK, said the proposals would result in a withdrawal of online services for under-18s by smaller companies:

The code is seen as especially onerous because it would require companies to provide up to six different versions of their websites to serve different age groups of children under 18.

This means an internet for kids largely designed by tech giants who can afford to build two completely different products. A child could access YouTube Kids, but not a start-up competitor.

Stephen Woodford, chief executive of the Advertising Association — which represents companies including Amazon, Sky, Twitter and Microsoft — said the ICO needed to conduct a full technical and economic impact study, as well as a feasibility study. He said the changes would have a wide and unintended negative impact on the online advertising ecosystem, reducing spend from advertisers and so revenue for many areas of the UK media.

An ICO spokesperson said:

We are aware of various industry concerns about the code. We’ll be considering all the responses we’ve had, as well as engaging further where necessary, once the consultation has finished.

Over mature and ripe for improvement…The US Communications Regulator publishes a report criticising the TV ratings system

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us tv ratings America’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has published a report about the US TV rating classification system.The familiar TV ratings, TVY, TV7, TVG, TVPG, TV14, TVMA are essentially self administered by the TV companies but there is an overview body called The TV Parental Guidelines (Oversight) Monitoring Board. The board describes itself:

The TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board is responsible for ensuring there is as much uniformity and consistency in applying the Parental Guidelines as possible. The Monitoring Board does this by reviewing complaints and other public input and by facilitating discussion about the application of ratings among members of the Board and other relevant industry representatives. The Monitoring Board typically meets annually or more often, if necessary, to consider and review complaints sent to the Board, discuss current research, and review any other relevant issues. The Board also facilitates regular calls among industry standards and practices executives to discuss pending and emerging issues in order to promote ratings consistency across companies.

In addition to the chairman, the Board includes 18 industry representatives from the broadcast, cable and creative communities appointed by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), NCTA 203 The Internet and Television Association, and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), and five public interest members, appointed by the Board chairman.

The chairman id Michael Powell and the board representatives are from

  • 21st Century FOX
  • ABC
  • A+E Networks
  • AMC Networks
  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of America
  • Call for Action
  • CBS
  • Discovery, Inc.
  • Entertainment Industries Council
  • HULU
  • Lifetime Networks
  • National PTA
  • NBC Universal
  • Sony Pictures Entertainment
  • Turner Broadcasting System
  • Univision
  • Viacom Media Networks

The TV ratings are frequently criticised, at least by morality campaign groups and recently the FCC responded by undertaking a review of the TV rating system. The FCC has just published its findings and concurs with much of the criticism. The FCC writes:

fcc logo After reviewing the record as a whole, our primary conclusion is that the Board has been insufficiently accessible and transparent to the public. For example, when the Bureau began its work on this report, the Board’s website did not even include a phone number that someone could call to reach it. We are pleased that this problem was recently fixed. But in our view, additional steps should be taken to increase awareness of the Board’s role and the transparency of its operations. Below are suggestions along those lines that we submit for Board and industry consideration.

First, we urge the Board and the video programming industry to increase their efforts to promote public awareness of the Board and its role in overseeing the rating system. We urge the Board and the industry to increase their outreach efforts concerning the existence of the rating system and consider additional ways in which they can publicize the ability of the public to file complaints, along with instructions on how complaints can be filed. In this regard, as noted, the Board recently reactivated a telephone number for use in contacting the Board and also provides a post office box where physical mail can be sent.

Second, we suggest that the Board consider ways to inform the public regarding the number of complaints it receives, the nature of each complaint, the program and network or producer involved, and the action taken, if any, by the network/producer or the Board in response to the complaint. For instance, the Board could consider issuing an annual report on the complaints it has received about the ratings of programs, how those complaints were adjudicated, and whether complaints led to the rating of a program being changed in future airings.

Third, we suggest that the Board hold at least one public meeting, that is publicized with adequate notice, each year. This would permit the public to express their views directly to the Board and help the Board better understand public concerns regarding program ratings.

we suggest that the Board consider doing random audits or spot checks analyzing the accuracy and consistency of the ratings being applied pursuant to the TV Parental Guidelines. This information could be used, in addition to the survey data already collected by the Board, to help assess, and if necessary, improve ratings accuracy. Such information would also allow the Board and the industry to consider whether any changes are needed to the guidelines themselves to ensure that they are as helpful as possible to today’s viewers, consistent with the Board’s commitment.

We note the ratings system has not changed in over 20 years and, despite its longevity, many commenters contend that the rating system is not well-understood or useful to parents.

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ifco 2018 IFCO has published its annual report covering 2018.It notes that teh number of cinema films passed is about the same as the previous year with 448 releases in 2018. However it reports that video DVD submissions (presumably including Blu-ray) has declined by 15% to 2621 submission in 2018.

IFCO reports on 2 appeals in 2018, both appeals were rejected and the rating remained unaltered. The two films were the 18 rated The First Purge , and the 12A rated Bumblebee.

The number of complaints received by IFCO has always been minimal. IFCO writes:

During 2018, IFCO received 18 complaints from the public which related specifically to classifications awarded. The most received in respect of any one title was 6 in the case of SHOW DOGS, a comedy classified PG for Mild violence, language and rude humour. Of these, two were from people who had not seen the film.

IFCO has also just upgraded its website to make it a bit smarter. IFCO acknowledged that it needs to up its game in interacting with the public. IFCO wrote in the report:

It is to be hoped that the updated website will be more visited and perhaps encourage people to contact IFCO. All constructive input, whether positive or negative is very welcome and informs as to people’s expectations of IFCO service

See the updated website at ifco.ie .

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IWF logo A recent internet protocol allows for websites to be located without using the traditional approach of asking your ISP’s DNS server, and so evading website blocks implemented by the ISP. Because the new protocol is encrypted then the ISP is restricted in its ability to monitor websites being accessed.This very much impacts the ISPs ability to block illegal child abuse as identified in a block list maintained by the IWF. Over the years the IWF have been very good at sticking to its universally supported remit. Presumably it has realised that extending its blocking capabilities to other less critical areas may degrade its effectiveness as it would then lose that universal support.

Now of course the government has stepped in and will use the same mechanism as used for the IWF blocks to block legal and very popular adult porn websites. The inevitable interest in circumvention options will very much diminish the IWF’s ability to block child abuse. So the IWF has taken to campaign to supports its capabilities. Fred Langford, the deputy CEO of IWF, told Techworld about the implementation of encrypted DNS:

Everything would be encrypted; everything would be dark. For the last 15 years, the IWF have worked with many providers on our URL list of illegal sites. There’s the counterterrorism list as well and the copyright infringed list of works that they all have to block. None of those would work.

We put the entries onto our list until we can work with our international stakeholders and partners to get the content removed in their country, said Langford. Sometimes that will only be on the list for a day. Other times it could be months or years. It just depends on the regime at the other end, wherever it’s physically located.

The IWF realises the benefit of universal support so generally acknowledged the benefits of the protocol on privacy and security and focusing on the needs for it to be deployed with the appropriate safeguards in place. It is calling for the government to insert a censorship rule that includes the IWF URL List in the forthcoming online harms regulatory framework to ensure that the service providers comply with current UK laws and security measures. Presumably the IWF would like its block list t be implemented by encrypted DNS servers worldwide. IWF’s Fred Langford said:

The technology is not bad; it’s how you implement it. Make sure your policies are in place, and make sure there’s some way that if there is an internet service provider that is providing parental controls and blocking illegal material that the DNS over HTTPS server can somehow communicate with them to redirect the traffic on their behalf.

Given the IWF’s respect, then this could be a possibility, but if the government then step in and demand adult porn sites be blocked too, then this approach would surely stumble as every world dictator and international moralist campaigner would expect the same.