Better Advertising Bureau

Pornhub Billboard Taken Down The Day After It Went Up After Hotel Manager Throws a Fit

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Well, the Pornhub billboard was fun while it lasted.

On Monday, in a glorious display of progress for sex positivity, Pornhub put up the first ever Times Square porn billboard — at least, the first ad since Times Square was basically a haven for prostitutes and peep shows. They debuted the ad with a performance from the Gotham Rock Choir, singing “All You Need Is Hand” and effectively sticking it to every mainstream advertiser that wouldn’t let Pornhub run a commercial. Read More

genius dispatch

Mahbod Moghadam: Who’s Really Benefiting When We Censor Terrorists (and Ourselves)?

mahbod moghadam genius dispatch

On the day of the news of James Foley’s beheading, I was very sad. I thought he looked so brave, and I have a lot of respect for Americans who take an interest in the Middle East. I felt I could relate to him, and his death struck me on a personal level.

Naturally, I wanted to see the video the terrorists had released of his beheading. But every link I would click — there was nothing. All sites had removed the video.

When I told my friends that I wanted to watch the video, I got little sympathy. Nobody else wanted to watch it, they seemed to think it would be an act of disrespect to Foley to watch the video. Everybody seemed to think that I’m a sicko. Read More

CENSORSHIP

Mongolian Government Bans 774 Phrases from Internet Including ‘Asshat’ and ‘Male Genitalia’

Here are some people in Mongolia. (Getty)

It’s a good thing Betabeat isn’t based in Mongolia, because we wouldn’t be able to publish words like “dicks” and “ass-pirate.”

According to Tech in Asia, who spotted the announcement on Mongolian news site Shuum, the Mongolian Telecommunications Regulatory Commission has just released a list of 774 words and phrases banned from appearing on local websites. Read More

The Russians

A Russian Politician Wants to Ban Swearing Online, Because It’s Not Like They Have Anything Else Going On

Graffiti can stay. (Photo: Flickr)

Hate-tweeting in Russia might soon become nearly impossible if one politician has her way. Yelena Mizulina, the chairwoman of Committee on Family, Women and Children, is pushing forward an initiative that if posts, messages and even websites contain naughty language, they would be blocked within 24 hours if the words aren’t immediately deleted. That sounds easy enough. Read More

XXX in Tech

Internet Porn Now Verboten in Egypt

My God, will they have to ban Tumblr?

The internet is for porn–unless you live in Egypt. Reuters reports that the nation’s public prosecutor has announced that, in response to a 2009 court ruling, the nation is now required to block pornographic websites.

Somewhere, Rick Santorum just perked up his ears in interest.

Reuters says:

Prosecutor Abdel Maguid Mahmoud ordered government authorities Read More

Scandals

New Yorker Cartoon Page Temporarily Banned by Facebook Because Nipples

The titillating cartoon in question. (Photo: Mick Stevens, The New Yorker)

Despite what those skimpy bikini pics in your news feed might indicate, Facebook has really been cracking down on nudity recently. Even camel toes are inappropriate now! But what about cartoon imagery? Surely line-drawn naked bodies are art, are they not?

Actually…not. Turns out Facebook has become so prudish that they temporarily banned the New Yorker’s official page because one of its cartoons was deemed too racy. Read More

Cheat Sheets

Holiday-Appropriate Talking Points for Your July Fourth Gatherings

Stone cold grillin'. (Photo: flickr.com/alisdair)

It’s July 4th, which means you are either at a barbecue, planning to go to a barbecue later, or desperately searching for a barbecue to crash. However, the limited availability of green space and roof decks means you’re likely to find yourself in a situation that requires small talk with strangers. To that end, we’ve selected a few thematically appropriate conversation starters.

1. Russia’s parliament is considering creating an Internet blacklist for sites featuring “banned pornography, drug ads and promoting suicide or extremist ideas.” Certain elements of the U.S. Congress might try, but our all-American legislative gridlock isn’t likely to let it get far.

2. The European parliament gives ACTA the thumbs-downFreeeeedom!

3. However, thanks to a recent injunction, you will not be free to buy Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus phone here in the good old U.S. of A. If the party gets boring, we recommend springing this one on an Apple fanboy. Read More

Check Your Pseudonym At the Door

China’s Crackdown on Internet Anonymity: Tell Us Your Real Name Or Stay Off the Microblogs

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Yesterday, China’s authoritarian government unveiled yet another set of restrictions that might soon be levied on Internet users. In a document prepared by the National Internet Information Office (a division of China’s “powerful” State Council), the authorities proposed forcing users to register with their official ID card before they can log on to the country’s microblogging sites, which are called “weibo” in China. The new rule would also require an official ID for “all the blogs and online forums,” says PC World.

As Reuters notes, the country has been escalating censorship of Internet users over the past few months as the country gets ready for a leadership transition, which happens once a decade. Read More