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China Pollution Doco Vanishes From Video Sharing Sites

Posted: March 9th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: China | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on China Pollution Doco Vanishes From Video Sharing Sites

A popular but controversial documentary on China’s struggles with pollution was inaccessible on China’s video sharing websites on Saturday, sparking concern from Chinese Internet users it had been censored within a week of its launch.

Under the Dome, a film by journalist Chai Jing that explains air pollution in straightforward terms, spurred a national debate after its release last weekend and quickly garnered hundreds of millions of views on streaming video sites :: Read the full article »»»»


CHINA Cracks Down On PORN!

Posted: February 9th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: China, CRIME! | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on CHINA Cracks Down On PORN!

CHINA-NEWSMore than fifty websites, blogs and microblog accounts have been shut down over the past week in China, not a huge number right?  it is if your a pornster in China, in it’s latest round of crackdowns on online porn the government’s State Internet Information Office – SIIO – said the websites were closed for posting pornographic images, articles, films, amateur videos, online ads for prostitutes.

The SIIO was setup in May 2011, and is the  online branch of the überpowerful State Council Information Office, the communist states censorship office. China’s Internet, with the world’s largest number of users – more than 450 million – is a booming industry, attracting investors and government agencies hoping for a stake in online revenues through licensing and regulation.

The National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications said Tuesday that nearly 1.8 million websites had been checked since the launch of the campaign, and 2,195 cases of dissemination of online pornography have been dealt with.

The office received more than 160,000 porn-related tip-offs from the general public and paid out about more than $AU75,000/¥500,000 to around 5oo informants. Companies and government departments also joined in the campaign. As part of the sting, China Mobile organized 20 employees – mothers of teenagers – to assist with monitoring and reporting mobile sites :: Read the full article »»»»


Australian Gamers to Get R18+ Rating

Posted: July 26th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Favorite New Thought . . ., Gaming News, Kiss My . . ., Love and Other Drugs, M.Aaron.Silverman, Socially Engineered | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Australian Gamers to Get R18+ Rating

After almost three years of public consultation and industry wide debate, the introduction of an R18+ classification for video games in Australia is teatering on the line. It looks as though it may go through however it’s been delayed once more due to the failure of federal, state and territory attorneys-general to reach a unanimous decision!?

The Standing Council of Attorneys-General Meeting may have reached an in-principle agreement has been reached between the various states and territories of Australia to move ahead with the introduction of an R18+ rating for video and computer games. New South Wales was the only state to abstain from endorsing the proposal, citing a need to consult with cabinet on the issue.

“We need a classification system that protects young minds from any possible adverse affect, while also ensuring that adults are free to make their own decisions about what they play, within the bounds of the law,” Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O’Connor said  Gamers have spent years lobbying for an adults-only rating, arguing it would allow for more mature themes to be canvassed in games while also assuring fewer adult games slip through with MA15+ ratings. Following the release of the R18+ public consultation preliminary report in May, classification ministers requested further research to ascertain the views of the silent majority. The R18+ classification review and Galaxy survey were made public by O’Connor just last week, shortly before he announced both his and the Gillard Government’s full support for the R18+ classification.

In interviews conducted with all state and territory attorneys-general by GameSpot AU on Monday, only Tasmania and the ACT publicly stated a pro-R18+ stance, while other states and territories chose to wait until the SCAG meeting today to make up their mind. O’Connor told the media today that not all attorneys-general were behind the introduction of an R18+ rating, but did not disclose which AGs voted for what.

At the meeting of attorneys-general today there was an in-principle agreement to introduce the R18+ classification, however, NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith abstained from the vote, arguing the matter would have to be taken to the cabinet for a decision. The Home Affairs Minister, Brendan O’Connor, has said the federal government would over-ride NSW and implement the R18+ rating regardless of its decision. However, O’Connor was confident that NSW would get over the line.

“We ARE  introducing a national R18+ classification, regardless of what NSW chooses to do,” O’Connor clarified via email.

In a statement O’Connor said: “We’ve now struck an historic agreement and we can move forward to having an adult classification in this country as is the case in New Zealand, the US, Europe and many other parts of the world.” A press release circulated by Brendan O’Connor, the Federal Minister for Home Affairs, praised the results of the meeting.  “The introduction of an R18+ classification for computer games will provide better advice to parents and help prevent children and teenagers from accessing unsuitable material. Once introduced, the new classification will also afford adults the opportunity to view material designed for adults.” said O’Connor

Lobby group www.r18games.com.au R18+ Games Australia whole-heartedly welcomes this move and wished to extend our sincere congratulations to all the ministers involved for reaching this sensible decision. We can only hope that the final roll-out of the scheme happens quickly and sensibly over the coming months.

Post Standing Council of Attorneys-General Meeting O’Connor said “This is a big step forward in the long running debate on classification of computer games for adults,” Mr O’Connor said. “The introduction of an R18+ classification for computer games will provide better advice to parents and help prevent children and teenagers from accessing unsuitable material. Once introduced, the new classification will also afford adults the opportunity to view material designed for adults.”

South Australia’s Attorney-General John Rau also noted that they would hold off on their plan to implement a South-Australian-based R18+ classification in the light of this new agreement.

Previous attempts to introduce the R18+ classification were thwarted by former South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson, who publicly opposed the adult rating for fear “…it will greatly increase the risk of children and vulnerable adults being exposed to damaging images and messages”.

Atkinson quit as South Australian attorney-general in March this year, replaced by John Rau, who chose to remain ambiguous on his views towards R18+ until today.

The Federal Government’s R18+ public consultation was first announced in 2008, but suffered a number of delays before finally being passed in April 2009. Australia remains the only developed country without an R18+ rating for video games.

However, there was a strong indication that NSW would eventually accept the proposal. NSW Attorney General Greg Smith said that he “welcomed” amendments made to the R18+ proposal at the meeting today.If the NSW government cabinet declines to support the proposal it may create a situation where R18+ games can be sold in all other states except NSW.

A spokeswoman for O’Connor said with eight out of nine censorship ministers agreeing to the changes, the R18+ proposal would go ahead with or without the support of NSW. The matter would not be discussed at any future meetings of attorneys-general.

“There is agreement and it’s going forward … at the end of the day it’s going ahead. It’s being progressed and NSW will do its thing,” the spokeswoman said.

A spokesman for Smith indicated that NSW would not stand in the way. “NSW has no intention of being a fly in the ointment,” he said.

Greens MP David Shoebridge was quick to round on the NSW Government. He criticised Smith for failing to formulate a position on the R18+ issue despite indicating the government was pondering it on May 27.

“Greg Smith should stop moralising and start looking into having sensible rules to reflect the material that is out there and at the same time ensure that consumers are properly informed,” said Shoebridge.

“Public submissions were overwhelmingly in favour of the introduction of the R18+ category. To abstain from the vote despite knowing months in advance that it would occur is politically culpable.”

Asked why the NSW government hadn’t determined a position on the issue despite it being on the agenda since 2002, a spokesman for Smith said “we have been in power three months”.

 

The Australian Christian Lobby “cautiously welcomed” the outcome of today’s decision but questioned why it was not deferred until the Australian Law Reform Commission completed its review of the National Classification Scheme, which includes examining the classification of games.

“With some tightening of the MA15+ category, the retention of the existing [refused classification] category and no liberalisation of the existing games market, the outcome today is a significant improvement from what had been previously put to ministers for their approval,” said Australian Christian Lobby spokesman Rob Ward “ACL’s concern in this debate has always been to maintain the existing ceiling for games so that there is no possibility of a higher level of graphic violence and interactive sex legally available for sale and hire in Australia. The draft R18+ guidelines as originally proposed would have matched the R18+ guidelines for films. This was clearly never in the interests of the community, with the boundaries of the R18+ film guidelines slowly eroded to allow extreme violence, actual sex and simulated paedophilia in films.”

“This demonstrates a distance between those policies and the reality of the video game industry and the people that play interactive games in Australia today. The legislation “effectively censors entertainment choices for adults.” EA said Games Presiden Frank Gibeau “As the Australian government evaluates the introduction of an 18+ category for videogames within the OFLC age rating system, it’s important to remind ourselves that in today’s global videogaming audience, the average age of a gamer is 28”

Ron Curry, CEO of the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (iGEA), says that today’s outcome is a positive step for the video games industry which has been awaiting an R18+ classification for almost a decade.

“An in-principle agreement for an R18+ classification is a big step towards a robust ratings system that best equips parents to manage their children’s access to appropriate content, as well as enables adults the ability to play games of their choice within the confines of the law,” said Curry.

With eight out of the nine Attorneys-General coming to an in-principle agreement, Curry says he looks forward to discussing the R18+ classification issue with NSW’s Attorney-General Greg Smith who abstained from making a vote today and will consider the issue out of session.

“It is entirely reasonable that each Minister should have taken the necessary time to fully understand the underlying issues and to grasp why Australia so desperately needs an adult classification for video game, and we look forward to entering into a dialogue with NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith.”

“This is the first step in the legislative process and until we can review the final guidelines, we can’t fully assess the impact of an adult rating for games in Australia.  We can be confident however that all content will be subjected to stringent classification guidelines and games which exceed an R18+ classification rating will still be refused classification and banned in Australia,” said Curry.

“With an adult rating finally on the horizon, we can now better focus our energy on more relevant discussions around content classification as entertainment formats and content continue to blur.”

The positive news comes off the back of a government-commissioned survey released by Minister of Home Affairs Brendan O’Connor in December last year which found 80 per cent of the 2,226 respondents interviewed support an R18+ rating and that 91 per cent of adults would clearly know that game classified R18+ would be unsuitable for children.

The federal government has been a vocal supporter of the proposal as has the general public and the video games industry, however changing the laws was always going to be problematic as it requires the agreement of all attorneys-general. Previously it was the former South-Australian Attorney-General, Michael Atkinson, who was blocking the R18+ measure however he has since been replaced by John Rau.

A government-commissioned survey of 2226 Australians released in December last year found 80 per cent supported the R18+ rating.

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