Censorship Hub

Jimmy Kimmel Censors the Foul Mouths of 'Sesame Street': VIDEO


Sesame Street celebrated its 45th birthday this week, and as a tribute, Jimmy Kimmel handed Cookie Monster, Elmo, Big Bird, Mr. Snuffleupagus, The Count, and Oscar the Grouch a special edition of his unnecessary censorship.

Cover the kiddies' ears, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Kazakh Students Sue Ad Agency For 'Moral Damages' Over Gay Kiss Poster

Pushkin-Kurmangazy poster

And they won.

In a move that seems designed to suggest that Sacha Baron Cohen wasn't being 100% satirical about Kazakhstan, a group of students and teachers filed suit over the Pushkin-Kurmangazy gay kiss poster citing 'moral damages'. The financial penalties for offending the delicate sensibilities of the Kurmangazy national conservatory students and teachers make the original fines levied by the local government look like pocket change: $188,000.

CEO Dariya Khamitzhanova says that the fine for this poster - which offends loosely defined "moral values" and was designed for an advertising competition - will ruin the company. She lambasted the students and teachers, saying that they did nothing to earn the money and that none of them even appeared in court. The ad agency appealed the decision, but were denied.

Catholic School Bans Julianne Moore, Ellen Page Lesbian Drama Shoot - VIDEO

Julianne Moore Ellen Page

A Catholic boys’ school in New Rochelle, New York, has reversed its decision to allow Freeheld — a film in which Julianne Moore and Ellen Page play a lesbian couple — shoot on its campus, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

A location manager had picked out Salesian High School for a key scene in the fact-based movie, based on the 2007 documentary of the same name. The school had agreed to allow the scout to shoot still photos of the building, which was to stand in for the town hall of Ocean County, New Jersey.

However, after first approving the shoot, the school's principal, John Flaherty, then informed producer Michael Shamberg that it had reversed its decision because of the movie’s subject matter.

In an email to Flaherty, Shemberg explained that the movie is "not about gay marriage [but] about recognizing the dignity of a woman who was a brave civil servant."

According to Kelly Bush, another producer on the movie, the school's decision only serves to underscore the themes of the film:

"Freeheld captures the inequality and bigotry that one couple faced while coping with cancer and the end of life. That our film was denied access to a location because of the subject matter — a same-sex couple fighting for their legal rights — illustrates just how important it is that this story be told."

Mayor Paul Rosenberg of nearby Rye Brook has since stepped in and allowed Freeheld producers to use his town's city hall for the scene.

Watch Page coming out during a speech she made at the Human Rights Campaign's Time to Thrive youth conference in Las Vegas, AFTER THE JUMP...

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MPAA Accused Of Homophobia Over 'Pride' R Rating - VIDEO


US censors have been accused of homophobia over the rating of new British movie Pride, a culture-clash comedy-drama that tells the true story of lesbian and gay activists who supported workers during the 1984 National Union of Mineworkers strike, reports Digital Spy.

The movie - which contains one scene in which two men kiss at a Bronksi Beat concert - has been rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America, judging it unsuitable for 17-year-olds unless accompanied by an adult.

Activist Peter Thatchell said that the decision is “outrageous, knee-jerk homophobia”:

"There's no significant sex or violence in Pride to justify strong ratings. The American classification board seems to automatically view any film with even the mildest gay content as unfit for people under 17."

This isn't the first time the MPAA has faced backlash for slapping an adult rating on a film with LGBT content either. This year's Love is Strange starring Alfred Molina and John Lithgow was also given an R-rating despite its lack of explicit sex scenes or violence. 

Read Towleroad’s review of Pride and watch a trailer, AFTER THE JUMP

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21 Instagram Photos from the Hong Kong Protests That China Doesn't Want You to See


China just blocked Instagram. Here's what they're hiding.

HkInstagram is down in China, and if you've been following the news, you already know why.

Tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in Hong Kong in an outpouring of frustration over politics and representation. Under Hong Kong's present electoral system, citizens don't elect their own leaders. Instead, they're appointed by a Beijing-friendly electoral committee. That will change — sort of, but not really — in 2017, when Hong Kong citizens will get to choose from among two or three candidates pre-selected by a Beijing nominating committee.

Protesters call the new electoral system "fake democracy." Sounds about right.

As we've come to expect, social media has played a large part in getting the word out. On Twitter and Instagram, activists and sympathizers use a variety of hashtags to organize information and speak to the wider world. If you want to follow along, check out #OccupyCenter, #hongkong, #hk and #UmbrellaRevolution. The last one refers to protesters' creative use of umbrellas to defend against tear gas. Ten years from now, it might be the name we remember this demonstration by.

Beijing's not having any of it. Following a police crackdown in Hong Kong on Sunday, Chinese authorities struck a major blow against demonstrators' ability to transmit news and images of the protest via social networks. They blocked Instagram on the Chinese mainland.

What's Beijing so afraid of?

Here are 21 photos from Instagram users on the ground at the protests. China doesn't want you to see them. And if you live in China, you can't.

1) This large gathering of people


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Lawmakers Ask FCC to Ensure LGBT Content Is Not Blocked By Internet Filters at Public Schools & Libraries

In a letter to top officials at the Federal Communication Commission on Thursday, Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) and 13 other lawmakers asked the FCC to ensure that internet filtering software used at federally funded schools and libraries does not block LGBT-related content. 

From the letter:

HondaA 2014 report by the LGBT Technology Partnership & Institute 'Vision for Inclusion: An LGBT Broadband Future' concluded that LGBT people are dependent on the Internet to meet a range of individual and social needs, which also makes them especially vulnerable to discriminatory Internet policies enacted by schools and libraries.

In an age when high-speed broadband is transforming almost every aspect of our lives, we must ensure online access to every adult and child. We are aware that you are in the midst of a proceeding to modernize the E-rate program. We encourage you to consider this problem in the course of this proceeding and adopt a solution to end this practice. For example, the Commission's regulations could make clear that LGBT educational content should not be filtered in a discriminatory manner.

The letter was also co-signed by the American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Campaign, the LGBT Technology Partnership & Institute, GLAAD, GLSEN, The Trevor Project, and other organizations. 

Read the letter in full, AFTER THE JUMP...

And in related news, Ars Technica recently reported that American Airlines' in-flight wifi was blocking the website misterbnb.com - a version of Airbnb that helps users find a gay-friendly place to stay - under the category of "adult-and-pornography."

MisterbnbHal Lonas, the chief technical officer at Webroot, said that according to Webroot's records, Misterbnb has been blocked since March 2013, supposedly for multiple uses of the word "lesbian." "The count was pretty high," Lonas said. Webroot uses a count of words like these to identify sites as containing "adult" content, and that one criteria alone is enough to get a site filtered. Since that time, according to Lonas, Misterbnb has been lingering in American Airline's Gogo Wi-Fi content filter, waiting for someone to navigate to the site and then find the right person to speak to about the error.

Lonas told Ars that Webroot relies on keywords, apparently sometimes on keywords alone, to filter content. He said medical websites sometimes get caught in the filters the same way Misterbnb did, noting that Webroot does take complaints from partners or customers about what to whitelist or change in its approach. "We're not anti-gay or anti-LGBT, we don't have an agenda," he said. "Of several hundred suggestions for changes (to filtering choices), four or five percent might be false positives." Terms that surround gay culture just conveniently happen to be a statistically effective way of blocking pornography, according to Webroot.

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