Today the BBFC becomes the new regulator of mobile content, replacing the Independent Mobile Classification Body, which had regulated this content since 2004. From 2 September, the BBFC will provide the UK mobile network operators EE, O2, Three and Vodafone, with a new independent Classification Framework for content accessed via their mobile networks.
Nick's book is perhaps one of the best I've read all year. Inside you'll find his research will both disgust and enlighten; you might even cry, you may throw up, but you certainly won't be cheerful. Cohen has successfully lifted the veil on the myth of free speech and as a result, he's perfectly revealed all the mendacity of those that claim we have it.
If you receive a malicious phone call, would you demand that the phone company be banned? If you receive a malicious or threatening letter, would you demand that the postal service be shut down? The problem in cases like this isn't always the medium which is used, but the horrid and twisted people who carry out these disgusting acts.
The panic about these keyboard-tapping folk devils, this handful of very sad men who are said to pose an existential threat to the safety and self-esteem of the whole of womankind, conforms precisely to Cohen's definition of a moral panic. With one difference: the moral panic over trolls has even less substance.
These sassy campaigners for women's rights would baulk like crazy at any suggestion that they are cut from the same cloth as sexist, patronising officials in places like Dubai who get to determine what the plebs may see. And yet the war on lads' mags in both Blighty and in more religious countries weirdly springs from the same source...
I'm surprised by the force with which I feel the impact of the Trayvon Martin verdict. Not just as a mother, as I try and imagine what it must be like, to walk out of a courtroom where a half dozen of your fellow citizens have decided that the fatal shooting of your unarmed seveteen year old is not a crime.
News broke yesterday that Jim Carrey has withdrawn his support for Kick-Ass 2, saying that in the wake of the horrifying Sandy Hook elementary school shooting he "cannot support that level of violence". Carrey's new standpoint... could be seen as a problematic conflation of the real-life and the fictional.
Facebook is quick to remove other types of 'hate speech'. If a user posts something homophobic, racist or anti-Semitic, it tends not to stay there very long. However there is a major chasm in the law, and it is in the area of gender. Certainly under British law I have not been able to find any legislation that covers hate speech towards 51% of the global population; women.
As soon as you start trying to protect people from the potentially offensive, the whole thing turns into a giant game of whack-a-mole. Potentially offensive things leap up from all directions, and no sooner have you squashed one than a dozen more potential shocking things pop up instead. Because EVERYTHING is offensive. In some context. To someone.
Last Wednesday, a grotesque large-scale picture of Margaret Thatcher appeared. Coloured purple with blank eyes, skulls for earrings and a thread of drool leaking from the mouth, it stood three metres tall against a background of flames. Next to it, in huge, carefully scripted letters, were the words "ROT IN HELL!! MAGGIE".