Censorship

Censorship

Steinbeck's Masterpiece Faces Censure Threat

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Steinbeck's Masterpiece Faces Censure Threat; Publishers Union of Turkey protested upon a request by a national education ministry commission in Izmir province to censor John Steinbeck's "Of mice and man". Publishers Union of Turkey protested upon a request by a national education ministry commission in Izmir province to censure John Steinbeck's masterpiece "Of mice and man".

Greenville librarian says decision to ban graphic novel wasn't made lightly

She read the book.

“It was disgusting,” she said, declining to label it obscene or pornographic.

She acknowledged the library has many books that deal in such detail with the very same subject matter — racism, rape, murder, sex — but for her, the pictures gave her pause.

Her decision to pull the book was the first time she had overruled her staff’s recommendation and the fifth time she had removed material from the library after a complaint.

“I call it de-selection,” she said. (Using de-selection instead of censorship is Newspeak)

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The Joint New Year's Eve Special

In concert with the team behind the Ubuntu UK Podcast, the Air Staff at Erie Looking Productions presented via WBCQ a New Year's Eve special broadcast via shortwave radio. Now that the show has finished being broadcast, it is being made available for download.

Download here (MP3). You can subscribe to the podcast (MP3) to have episodes delivered to your media player. We suggest subscribing by way of a service like gpodder.net. Stephen's shopping list of items to replace hardware damaged and destroyed due to adverse circumstances over the past week, which includes requiring replacement of our dead in-house server with a lower-powered Raspberry Pi at this point, can be found here where direct purchasing is possible to send the items directly to the Air Staff.

Creative Commons License
The Joint New Year's Eve Special produced by Gloria Kellat of the Air Staff of Erie Looking Productions is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

Turkey Plans to Lift Bans on Hundreds of Publications

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Good news about censorship for once. Turkey is releasing a number of books and magazines from their official censorship list: Effective on Jan. 5, all [censorship] bans will be lifted, freeing 453 books and hundreds of periodicals, magazines and newspapers from prohibition, the Office of the State Prosecutor in Charge of Media Crimes confirmed by telephone from Ankara this week.

You Can’t Say That on the Internet

A BASTION of openness and counterculture, Silicon Valley imagines itself as the un-Chick-fil-A. But its hyper-tolerant facade often masks deeply conservative, outdated norms that digital culture discreetly imposes on billions of technology users worldwide.

What is the vehicle for this new prudishness? Dour, one-dimensional algorithms, the mathematical constructs that automatically determine the limits of what is culturally acceptable.

Opinion piece at NYT

What Censorship Means Around The World

Gigaom mapped Google’s transparency data to see which countries want online content removed and why. It turns out that censorship is in the eye of the beholder.

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Parents' protest raises censorship questions

There is a certain irony in this case and all others like it. Now every teenager in Guilford County knows there is a prurient title out there they might actually want to read. We predict circulation of “The Handmaiden’s Tale’ will rise dramatically. It is not an easy read, but it might lead some to explore other titles by a well-respected author who has things to say to young people, and indeed others.

Finally, it is presumed that the complainants have read the book – not the odd passage, but actually read it. And thus be willing to publicly respond in the affirmative to the question, “Have you read this book,” if asked.

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LISTen: An LISNews.org Program -- Episode #216

This week's episode mysteriously dispenses with Profile America so that attention can be paid to the matter of Diplomats Dancing in Dubai in December...which is to say, we talk about some ramifications of the upcoming World Conference on International Telecommunications.

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Download here (MP3) (Ogg Vorbis), or subscribe to the podcast (MP3) to have episodes delivered to your media player. We suggest subscribing by way of a service like gpodder.net. Support and subsistence items for the production team can be purchased and sent from here via Amazon, as always.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/.

Open Road Media Video on Banned Books Week

Banned Book Trading Card Exhibit at the Lawrence KS Library

Check out this deck of banned book cards and let us know what your library is doing to celebrate BANNED BOOKS WEEK.

LISTen: An LISNews.org Program -- Episode #214

This week's episode features a chat with Dan Lynch of Sixgun Productions in Liverpool about changes in the UK library world relative to the UK government reviewing the possibility of e-book lending there. Madam Producer also discusses a new report by Freedom House about Internet Freedom in the context of this week being Banned Books Week.

Download here (MP3) (ogg), or subscribe to the podcast (MP3) to have episodes delivered to your media player. We suggest subscribing by way of a service like gpodder.net. Support and subsistence items for the production team can be purchased and sent from here.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/.

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Tintin OUT, then IN at Swedish Library

Swedish News (in English): Following a storm of media criticism, officials at the Kulturhuset library in Stockholm have reversed their decision to remove Tintin comic books from its shelves, saying the move happened "too fast".

"The decision happened too fast," Kulturhuset head Eric Sjöström and the organization's artistic director, Behrang Miri, said in a statement released late Tuesday morning.

The reversal comes after a report in Tuesday's Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper in which Miri said the library planned to remove Tintin comics from its shelves.

“The image the Tintin books give of Africans is Afro-phobic, for example. Africans are a bit dumb, while Arabs sit on flying carpets and Turks smoke water pipes,” he told the paper.

But after criticism of the move erupted in Swedish media on Monday morning, Miri changed his stance.

"I wanted to highlight an opinion piece about issues of discrimination, but realize now that it's wrong to ban books," Miri said in a statement.

However, Kulturhuset head Sjöström applauded Miri for prompting a discussion about discrimination.

"The issues of discrimination, equality and norms continue to be debated and discussed," Sjöström said in a statement.

Balkanizing The Internet

Reporters Without Borders takes a look at new frontiers in carrying out censorship being undertaken in response to an infamous YouTube video.

Underground library stands up for books

From the opinion page of Milwaukee's JSOnline,

"Recently, I met Adriana McCleer, a PhD candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's School of Information Studies. Aside from being a graduate student, McCleer is a former librarian from Racine. She's also a visionary.

McCleer wants to build a library in our great city. But not just any ol' library. She wants Milwaukee to have an underground library of books banned in Tucson, Ariz. If she succeeds, and I hope she does, the library will be one of many popping up across the nation."

British charity calls for '50 Shades of Grey' book burning

A British charity has called for a burning of the book "50 Shades of Grey" by E.L. James. Wearside Women in Need, which focuses on domestic violence, has asked readers to drop off books for a planned bonfire on Nov. 5.

"I do not think I can put into words how vile I think this book is," Wearside Women's Clare Phillipson told the BBC, "and how dangerous I think the idea is that you get a sophisticated but naive, young women and a much richer, abusive older man who beats her up and does some dreadful things to her sexually."

Why should Amazon be our taste and decency policeman?

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The Guardian has an interesting story on requiring Amazon.com to censor the materials they sell. "Why should Amazon be our taste and decency policeman?The online retailer has been criticised for profiting from ebooks featuring terror and violence. No one should tell us what to read." See: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/26/amazon-taste-decency-policeman-ebooks-terror

Googler proposes '451' error code to signal Internet censorship, in honor of Ray Bradbury

A 451 Internet error code? Digital Trends has the details:

"Government-imposed online censorship has become increasingly prevalent over the past few years...When censorship does happen, we need a sign that clearly tells us that that’s the reason for a site’s inaccessibility.

Enter Tim Bray, a software developer at Google who has proposed a solution: a “451? error code that displays anytime you visit a site blocked by the government. The number 451 is in honor of late author Ray Bradbury, whose science fiction classic Fahrenheit 451, first published in 1950, warned of a dystopian world defined by government-imposed censorship (in the form of burning any house that contains books)."

Censoring science information

Banned Book Could Lead to Imprisonment

From the Malaysian Digest, news that a Borders store manager in Kuala Lumpur is facing possible arrest for stocking a Canadian title that Muslim religious authorities find objectionable.

Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz was charged in the Kuala Lumpur Syariah Court for allegedly violating the Hukum Syarak by distributing or selling Irshad Manji’s book Allah, Liberty and Love.

“The management of Berjaya Books Sdn Bhd who own and operate the Borders bookstore chain in Malaysia is very disappointed that our store manager Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz has today been charged by Jabatan Agama Wilayah Persekutuan (JAWI) in the Kuala Lumpur Syariah Court for distributing a book by Canadian author Irshad Manji deemed to be against the Islamic Law (Hukum Syarak) and banned in Malaysia. The charge was brought under Section 13(1) of Prime Minister’s Department for Islamic Affairs Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom have also been named as respondents in the application for judicial review."

Almost Like the McCarthy Era; Librarians Asked to Name Names of Gay-Oriented Books

Salt Lake Tribune: Controversy over a book describing a household with lesbian mothers has prompted the Davis School District to ask school librarians to name other titles that parents might find objectionable, according to one district librarian.

In Our Mothers’ House by Patricia Polacco was recently removed from shelves of elementary school libraries in Davis County after a group of parents objected to the story’s content. The book remains accessible but only if a student presents a permission slip from a parent to check out the book.
DaNae Leu, a media specialist at Snow Horse Elementary School in Kaysville, said the district is taking a proactive stance on pulling other books in the wake of the controversy. Also marked for removal is And Tango Makes Three, the story of a pair of male penguins who sit on an egg at a zoo until it hatches; and Totally Joe, a book for ages 10 and up about a teenager who is gay.

She said librarians are being asked to supply names of books that contain gay and lesbian characters. Many librarians are frustrated about the situation, she said, but are nervous about speaking out because they fear reprisals.

"I’ve never seen this happen. It’s almost like they want to preemptively pull books that might disturb somebody," she said. "I feel like Joe McCarthy is asking me to name names," she said of discussions in which administrators have asked for book names

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