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beauty and the beast 2017Russian officials are coming under pressure to check if Disney’s new film Beauty and the Beast breaches the country’s discriminatory law against gay propaganda .Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky said action would be taken after the checks while an MP described the film as shameless propaganda of sin .

The live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast features Disney’s first ever gay character and love scene. Director Bill Condon has spoken of an exclusively gay moment in Beauty and the Beast.  It involves LeFou, who is a sidekick of the film’s main antagonist Gaston. LeFou, played by US actor Josh Gad, tries to come to terms with feelings for Gaston that swing between lust and admiration, as a side-plot to the main story.

In another groundbreaking moment, the film is to feature the first interracial kiss in a Disney live-action film.

Vitaly Milonov, an MP of the governing United Russia party, urged the culture minister to hold a screening of the film before it was released to see if it complied with the law and to take measures to totally ban it if he found elements of propaganda of homosexuality . Vitaly Milonov is one of the main supporter of the Russian law of 2013

But don’t think that Russia is singularly homophobic country who is whingeing at the film. A cinema in the USA is also refusing to show the films for homophobic reasons. The owners of the Henagar Drive-In in Alabama explained:

It is with great sorrow that I have to tell our customers that we will not be showing ‘Beauty and the Beast’ at the Henagar Drive-In when it comes out, When companies continually force their views on us we need to take a stand. We all make choices and I am making mine.

For those that do not know ‘Beauty and the Beast’ is ‘premiering’ their first homosexual character 206 If we can not take our 11 year old grand daughter and 8 year old grandson to see a movie we have no business watching it. If I can’t sit through a movie with God or Jesus sitting by me then we have no business showing it.

I know there will be some that do not agree with this decision. That’s fine. We are first and foremost Christians. We will not compromise on what the Bible teaches.

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The Taming of the Shrew For the unenlightened I should explain that a sensitivity reader, or beta reader, is a person employed by a publisher to vet an author’s works with the aim of identifying and excising any material that might be deemed offensive. Once limited to children’s fiction, sensitivity readers are now being enlisted to monitor works intended for adult consumption.Riptide Publishing explains more in a recruitment advert:

Riptide Publishing, a publisher of the finest LGBTQ fiction, is hiring paid sensitivity readers. Our SRs will read manuscripts during developmental edits with an eye toward any potentially inaccurate, inauthentic, insulting, misrepresentative, harmful, or *-ist themes, phrases, or actions in the text.

Sensitivity readers must be a part of the culture(s) or identity/identities they are reading for.

We need readers in all areas of racial, ethnic, and religious diversity, sexual and gender orientation, and mental and physical illnesses and disabilities.

Pay: $1.50 per 1000 words.

Current needs:

  • Chinese
  • Mexican
  • South Asian/Indian
  • Hindu
  • African-American
  • Anorexia
  • Trans man

Read the ull article: Sensitivity readers, save us from offence! from spiked-online.com

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edge universal soldier the return Universal Soldier: The Return is a 1999 USA action Sci-Fi film by Mic Rodgers.
Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bill Goldberg and Heidi Schanz. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

Cut by the BBFC for 18 rated 1999 cinema release. Further cut for 18 rated 1999 VHS. Uncut and MPAA R rated in the US.

See these cuts in Cutting Edge Quick Trims video on YouTube

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European Parliament logoMembers of the European Parliament have approved extraordinary measures to censor speakers accused of  hate speech. MEPs granted the parliament’s president authority to pull the plug on live broadcasts of parliamentary debate deemed to include racist speech and to purge any such material from online records.

Inevitably the rules are vaguely worded and will be manipulated or used as a tool of censorship. Tom Weingaertner, president of the Brussels-based International Press Association  commented:

This undermines the reliability of the Parliament’s archives at a moment where the suspicion of ‘fake news’ and manipulation threatens the credibility of the media and the politicians.

However the censorship has some British support. Richard Corbett, a Labour MEP who backed the rule said:

There have been a growing number of cases of politicians saying things that are beyond the pale of normal parliamentary discussion and debate,

What if this became not isolated incidents, but specific, where people could say: ‘Hey, this is a fantastic platform. It’s broad, it’s live-streamed. It can be recorded and repeated. Let’s use it for something more vociferous, more spectacular

Rule 165 of the parliament’s rules of procedure allows the chair of debates to halt the live broadcast in the case of defamatory, racist or xenophobic language or behavior by a member. The would also be a fine for transgressors of around 9,000 euros.

The new rule, which was not made public by the assemble until it was reported by Spain’s La Vanguardia newspaper, offending material could be deleted from the audiovisual record of proceedings, meaning citizens would never know it happened unless reporters were in the room.

Weingaertner said the IPA was never consulted on that.

US police seem to think so and are trying to demand that Amazon hands over the recordings

Amazon Echo, Black Police in the US believe an Amazon Echo overheard the murder of a man found dead in a hot tub. They want a copy of any audio recorded by the Echo personal assistant, conveniently stored in Amazon’s cloud.The cops think the Alexa-powered Echo, which was found in the kitchen, may have recorded what went on that night, even though you supposedly need to say a wake up word to activate Alexa.

Presumably worried about sales, Amazon is refusing to hand over said recordings, and has gone to court to fight their corner.

Amazon refused to fully comply with the search warrant, and has now filed a motion to the Circuit Court of Benton County, Arkansas, to quash the order. The tech giant says any conversation a customer has with their Echo is covered by the First Amendment. Amazon argued:

Given the important First Amendment and privacy implications at stake, the warrant should be quashed unless the Court finds that the State has met its heightened burden for compelled production of such materials.

Leaving aside the legal arguments, Amazon is keen to ensure that the police can’t use its devices as perpetual bugs in the homes of their owners. If legal precedent is established for that, sales will go off the side of a cliff.

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pc shipThe Royal Navy has banned posters of glamour models so as not to offend women sailors after some complained of feeling intimidated by the soft porn.

Perhaps the banning of public space pin ups is understandable in these PC times but the Navy’s rules go further and effectively ban sailors from all but a tiny portion of available porn.

Sailors were told about the ban when they were given an amended version of the Royal Navy’s Queen Regulations. A new section titled Pin-ups and Pornography reads:

Possession of films/videos and all forms of digital media (e.g DvDs, or downloads from the internet) that have been certified by the British Board of Film Censors is permitted.  All other pornographic material is prohibited.

A Naval source told The Sun about these miserable rules:

To be fair, this is part of the service coming into the 21st Century, being more inclusive and not offending women.

But a lot of the lads are moaning about this because porn has been rife across the fleet for generations, and this is the result of a few people complaining.

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twitter 2015 logoTwitter has introduced a new censorship system with the unlikely sounding capability to detect abusive tweets and suspend accounts without waiting for complaints to be flagged. Transgressions results in the senders receiving half-day suspensions.The company has refused to provide details on specifically how the new system works, but using a combination of behavioral and keyword indicators, the filter flags posts it deems to be violations of Twitter’s acceptable speech policy and issues users suspensions of half a day during which they cannot post new globally accessible tweets and their existing tweets are visible only to followers.

From the platform that once called itself the free speech wing of the free speech party, these new tools mark an incredible turn of events. The anti-censorship ethic seems to have been lost in a failed attempt to sell the company after prospective buyers were unhappy with the lack of censorship control over the platform.

Inevitably Twiiter has refused to provide even outline ideas of the indicators it is using, especially when it comes to the particular linguistic cues it is concerned with. While offering too much detail might give the upper hand to those who would try to work around the new system, it is important for the broader community to have at least some understanding of the kinds of language flagged by Twitter’s new tool so that they can try and stay within the rules.

It is also unclear why Twitter chose not to permit users to contest what they believe to be a wrongful suspension. Given that the feature is brand-new and bound to encounter plenty of unforeseen contexts where it could yield a wrong result, it is surprising that Twitter chose not to provide a recovery mechanism where it could catch these before they become news.

And the first example of censorship was quick to follow. Many outlets this morning picked up on a frightening instance of the Twitter algorithm’s new power to police not only the language we use but the thoughts we express. In this case a user allegedly tweeted a response to a news report about comments made by Senator John McCain and argued that it was his belief that the senator was a traitor who had committed formal treason against the nation. Twitter did not respond to a request for more information about what occurred in this case and if this was indeed the tweet that caused the user to be suspended, but did not dispute that the user had been suspended or that his use of the word traitor had factored heavily into that suspension.

See  article from forbes.com