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Impossibly racy in 1808 Goya’s La Maja Desnuda is tame by today’s standards - our regulations need to keep in step with the times. Francisco Goya/Museo Nacional del Prado

Policing porn and the new enforcement of moral standards that don’t exist

A legislative provision that has just come into force bans certain acts in online pornography produced in the UK, with the effect of bringing video-on-demand services into line with the British Board of…
Benefits Street is back and it’s ok if you don’t like it. Joe Giddens/PA Archive

Who is censoring who when artists dismiss their critics?

ITV has recently announced that it will not commission a second series of the controversial comedy series Dapper Laughs. The decision comes after a petition to have the programme removed from the air gathered…
In Syria everything coming in, and everything going out is watched. momente/Shutterstock

Lessons on censorship from Syria’s internet filter machines

Norwegian writer Mette Newth once wrote that: “censorship has followed the free expressions of men and women like a shadow throughout history.” As we develop new means to gather and create information…
Let your local book folks know you have their back. Literature Wales

Gobsmacked by Aldi’s Revolting Rhymes ban? Try this instead

The discount supermarket chain Aldi has come under fire in recent days for removing Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes (1982) from its shelves following a complaint from a customer on its Facebook page. The…
Is this magazine cover too racy – or did other factors make newsagents decide not to stock Archer? Archer Magazine

Is Archer magazine really ‘inappropriate for sale’?

When a Google search can summon any image you like online, it seems anachronistic to hear of a print publication supposedly encountering distribution problems on the basis of its content. Yet that’s just…
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? 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? 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. 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. 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. 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? 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? 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. 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…

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