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Analysis and Comment (23)

According to a US court, ‘free speech’ means internet search engines can choose what they allow to show up and filter out. According to a US court, ‘free speech’ means internet search engines can choose what they allow to show up and filter out. Brian J. Matis/Flickr

Baidu’s perfect paradox: free speech and the right to censor

China’s biggest search engine has a constitutional right to filter its search results, a US court found last month. But that’s just the start of the story. Eight New York-based pro-democracy activists…
Who draws the line on what is and isn’t acceptable for children’s viewing? Who draws the line on what is and isn’t acceptable for children’s viewing? Karen Eliot

Nudity in kids' books is nothing to worry about

What deadly affront would cause a group of conservative booksellers – and a rather attractive golden retriever – to protest by doffing their duds to pose in the buff? The cause was the savaging of a children’s…
John Jarratt as Mick Taylor in Wolf Creek 2 … so what’s the problem? John Jarratt as Mick Taylor in Wolf Creek 2 … so what’s the problem? Courtesy of Roadshow Films

Margaret, David, Wolf Creek 2 and, oh … torture porn

Well, I’m outraged, I tells ya. Outraged! This is such a shameful snub. Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton, beloved hosts of ABC’s At the Movies, have apparently refused to review a major new Aussie…
Until Ed, spooks and hacks have always rubbed along well. Until Ed, spooks and hacks have always rubbed along well. Shutterstock

Why journalists should rally in defence of the D-notice

In the wake of Edward Snowden affair, the government is holding a review of the operations of the Defence Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee (DPBAC) and what is generally known as the “D-Notice…
Supposed self-censorship by the Queensland Theatre Company over a joke about Campbell Newman has raised few laughs. Supposed self-censorship by the Queensland Theatre Company over a joke about Campbell Newman has raised few laughs. Dave Hunt/AAP

Arts companies should be able to tell governments to bugger off

The joke was in, then out, then in again. Over the last week a story reminding us of the delicate politics of arts funded by the government and the need for good governance leaked out of the Queensland…
So says Universities UK, anyway. So says Universities UK, anyway. Tavallai

Segregation and censorship on campus must not be tolerated

While mourning the loss of Nelson Mandela, many are also celebrating the staggering achievement of those who struggled with to overthrow apartheid in South Africa. Lest we forget, apartheid means separation…
Facebook and censorship: thumbs up or thumbs down? Facebook and censorship: thumbs up or thumbs down? kurichan+

Facebook goes full circle on censorship, like it or not

In the past few days, Facebook has gone full circle on its policy around censoring violent material. After much back-and-forth on whether a graphic video showing the beheading of a woman should be banned…
You think I’m violent? Have you met Macbeth? You think I’m violent? Have you met Macbeth? lisby

Hamlet is but the latest to fall victim to library censorship

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so,” says Hamlet upon welcoming Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to the “prison” that is Denmark. But if you’re reading this from the British Library…
Got to keep that porn out somehow. Got to keep that porn out somehow. Ben Davis

UK and China not such strange bedfellows in war on porn

Not long after David Cameron announced the UK’s remarkable proposals to block and ban online pornography, commentators were quick to point out similarities with what has been common practice in China…
An old sign, or the future of the internet? An old sign, or the future of the internet? mikecogh

War on web porn obscures wider sexualisation of teens

Can we really separate a “nice” internet from a “bad” internet? That appears to be the thinking behind David Cameron’s statements foreshadowing the introduction of “porn filters” and search engine roadblocks…
The revolution will not be televised. The revolution will not be televised. Alan Hilditch via Creative Commons

Turkish mainstream media’s mask has finally slipped

While protesters were asleep, police stormed Istanbul’s Gezi Park using tear gas and water cannons. They set fire to the encampments. And yet pictures of bloodied protesters, or those blinded by plastic…
SANAA YEMEN– MAY 2011: A blind protester attends the demonstration at the Change Square. SANAA YEMEN– MAY 2011: A blind protester attends the demonstration at the Change Square. Yuri Kozyrev/NOOR

Our duty to look: why censoring press photos is wrong

When Destination NSW censored an outdoor photography exhibition meant to appear as part of the Vivid Sydney festival, they offended more than just the photographers who risk life and limb to take these…
Will China’s copycat culture spawn a host of smartglasses? Will China’s copycat culture spawn a host of smartglasses? SewPixie

Baidu Eye: ‘micro-innovation’ or copying Google Glass?

The tech press reported recently that Chinese search giant Baidu.com was working on a new “smartglasses” device, dubbed Baidu Eye – a computerised headset with a small LCD screen, voice commands, image…
Hola! will increase Australia’s access to content, but is it legal? Hola! will increase Australia’s access to content, but is it legal? Movie reel image from from www.shutterstock.com

Say Hola! to the newest route around web censorship

The ongoing copyright arms race between content owners and internet users has taken a new turn. Israeli firm Hola! has recently launched a suite of products that are variously designed to bypass geoblocking…
China’s new government has to decide if its economic and social agenda can progress without political liberalisation. China’s new government has to decide if its economic and social agenda can progress without political liberalisation. EPA/Fan Siding

The Southern Weekly and censorship in China: a nation fights back

Chinese newspaper the Southern Weekly has gone back to print after a public standoff about censorship, leading to wider scrutiny of the Chinese government’s hold over press freedom. Optimism about more…
The gaming industry’s decade-long journey might soon be over. The gaming industry’s decade-long journey might soon be over. Bethesda Softworks

R18+ classification for videogames … the quest continues

Late last week Federal Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare introduced a bill to parliament that takes Australia one step closer to an R18+ classification for videogames. No sooner had the classification…
Scientists could reconstruct the work on the avian flu virus from clues, making suppression of future work counterproductive. Scientists could reconstruct the work on the avian flu virus from clues, making suppression of future work counterproductive. AAP

Censoring influenza research: gagging scientists could put lives at risk

Researchers working on a pathogenic strain of avian flu (H5N1) have agreed to pause their work for 60 days so international experts can discuss the safest ways to proceed. But it’s important to ensure…
Australia’s classification system has been updated to ensure the audience can judge whether content is appropriate for them. Australia’s classification system has been updated to ensure the audience can judge whether content is appropriate for them. Flickr/kennymatic

Bringing media classification into the digital era

Media classification in Australia is being dragged into the digital world. At the moment it’s based on analog legislation, unsuited for today’s convergent media. But proposals unveiled today will transform…
Creators of a new “red light” suffix hope to put porn in its proper place. Creators of a new “red light” suffix hope to put porn in its proper place. Julian Smith/AAP

.xxx domain – a new way to look at pornography

This month’s launch of the .xxx internet domain, a new section of the internet dedicated to pornography and erotica, is getting people hot and bothered. The global body coordinating internet addresses…
Is stopping someone speaking ever the right approach? Is stopping someone speaking ever the right approach? sjgibbs80/Flickr

Monckton and Notre Dame: a case for free speech?

Is it wise to try to block a speech by Christopher Monckton? Are there other options? Monckton, a well known climate change sceptic, was invited to speak at Notre Dame University in Fremantle on 30 June…
The average Australian gamer is now more than 30 years old. The average Australian gamer is now more than 30 years old. RodrigoFavera

Video game classification? It’s time we all grew up

After many years of debate and deliberation Australia might finally be about to receive an R18+ rating for video games. On July 21 and 22 the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG) meeting will…
Are adult gamers being unfairly targeted by the current classification system? Are adult gamers being unfairly targeted by the current classification system? Sibeckham/Flickr

Fair game? Why we should back an R18+ classification

If you are in any way exposed to computer games on a regular basis, it won’t have escaped your attention that Australia does not have an R18+ classification for video games. This is particularly strange…

Research and News (1)