Anti-gun campaigners are highlighting a school-shooting simulator video game available on Steam. According to its listing on the Steam, the game lets players slaughter as many civilians as possible in a school environment.
InferTrust called on Valve, the company behind the Steam games store - to take the title down before it goes on sale, on 6 June.
The BBC report omits the name of the game but in fact it is titled Active Shooter .
The school-shooting game is described as realistic and impressive. And the developer has suggested it will include 3D models of children to shoot at. However, the creator also says: Please do not take any of this seriously. This is only
meant to be the simulation and nothing else.
A spokeswoman for InferTrust said:
It's in very bad taste. There have been 22 school shootings in the US since the beginning of this year. It is horrendous. Why would anybody think it's a good idea to market something violent like that, and be completely insensitive to the deaths
of so many children? We're appalled that the game is being marketed.
Frankie Boyle has accused BBC television producers of editing out comments he made about last
week's Palestinian deaths on the Gaza border and his joke about Israel being an Apartheid state.
The outspoken comic called out the censorship after he was screened discussing left-wing antisemitism with guest David Baddiel on last Friday's episode of his New World Order chat show series on BBC2.
Responding to criticism from viewers that he had failed to address the deaths of over 60 Palestinians following demonstrations in Gaza, Boyle tweeted:
There were, of course, various jokes in this weeks's New World Order monologue about the situation in Gaza, and about Israel being an Apartheid state. Edited out for reasons nobody has yet explained to me, despite assurances to the
Ok. Happy to quote this sentiment, which I've had from literally hundreds of people, that anti-semitism in Britain should not be discussed while Israel commits warcrimes. The idea that Jewish people have collective responsibility for Israel is
racist. Have a great day
Drink censors from the Portman Group have ludicrously whinged at Spar for describing a range of wines as
'everyday drinking'. The phrase was used as marketing speak for commonplace and cheap. It was not used for any customer facing promotional material. The press release included the paragraph:
Matt Fowkes , SPAR UK Wine Trading Manager added: Our new 'Everyday Drinking' range at £5 and 'Varietals' range at £6 are a result of an extensive review of our SPAR Brand wine values. We are targeting customers who buy wine by their preferred
style and key grape varieties. We've made selecting wine easier and more accessible for them.
The Portman Group published the following adjudication:
A complaint about two SPAR press releases promoting a new Everyday Wine range has been upheld by the Independent Complaints Panel (Panel) for indirectly encouraging immoderate consumption.
The complainant, Alcohol Concern Wales, believed that SPAR, by naming the range Everyday Wine, was alluding to drinking the product everyday, going against the Chief Medical Officers' Guidelines on Low Risk Drinking which advises people who drink
regularly to have alcohol free days.
The Panel noted that the press releases were for the company's retailer audience and were not intended for consumer communication. The term everyday was used to position the product to retailers as lower priced wine. In both press releases the
wording used appeared as everyday drinking which linked the messaging to daily consumption of the product. The Panel concluded that the phrase was creating a direct correlation between low price and acceptability of everyday alcohol consumption,
although this may have been unintentional. When considered in the context of the 2016 CMOs' Guidelines the Panel agreed that the term everyday drinking was unacceptable under rule 3.2(f).
The Panel advised that all companies should carefully consider the language used in brand communications regardless of intended audience, because in a digital age there was always the potential for the communication to be seen by a wider group. In
this instance, a different phrase to categorise the range could have been used.
The Portman Group welcomed SPAR's confirmation that they would not use the term Everyday Wine in either consumer or retailer facing communications following the Panel's decision.
Beginning on May 10, Spotify users will no longer be able to find R. Kelly 's music on any of the streaming service's editorial or algorithmic playlists. Under the terms of a new public hate content and hateful conduct policy Spotify is
putting into effect, the company will no longer promote the R&B singer's music in any way, removing his songs from flagship playlists like RapCaviar, Discover Weekly or New Music Friday, for example, as well as its other genre- or mood-based
"We are removing R. Kelly's music from all Spotify owned and operated playlists and algorithmic recommendations such as Discover Weekly," Spotify told Billboard in a statement. "His music will still be available on the
service, but Spotify will not actively promote it. We don't censor content because of an artist's or creator's behavior, but we want our editorial decisions -- what we choose to program -- to reflect our values. When an artist or creator does
something that is especially harmful or hateful, it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator."
Over the past several years, Kelly has been accused by multiple women of sexual violence, coercion and running a "sex cult," including two additional women who came forward to Buzzfeed this week. Though he has never been convicted of a
crime, he has come under increasing scrutiny over the past several weeks, particularly with the launch of the #MuteRKelly movement at the end of April. Kelly has vociferously defended himself , saying those accusing him are an "attempt to
distort my character and to destroy my legacy." And while RCA Records has thus far not dropped Kelly from his recording contract, Spotify has distanced itself from promoting his music.
The world of political correctness is a pretty nasty sort of world. It should be a place of politeness
and consideration, but ends up being populated by aggressive bullies and those with a chip on their shoulders. Granted there has been some past unfairness to put right, but what should be a shared interest in a quest for equality, turns out to
better characterised as quest for revenge.
For instance, the rules of PC demand polite words for all those groups favoured by the cause, whilst insults and disparagements are positively encouraged for those groups that are not so fortunate.
And of course white men are the main whipping guys who are not allowed any modicum of politeness or respect. It is somehow perfectly correct for them to be referred to as 'pale male and stale' or to infer that all men are rapists, particularly if
they are enflamed by porn videos or a lap dance.
And the latest derogatory term for middle aged white men is 'gammon', alluding to going pink faced when angry.
The term was at the centre of a political row this week when it was used to describe middle-aged, male Brexit voters. The insult has been increasingly used by Labour supporters to mock right wing males in favour of Brexit. Northern Irish MP Emma
Little-Pengelly sparked a war of words on Twitter by noting that the term was being used to single out white people. And her rather straight forward observation was considered to be totally heretical by the PC lynch mob.
The Guardian columnist Owen Jones is a strident left winger who is notably intolerant of views contrary to his own. Ironically he is probably best known for being a prime example of a gammon. He got angry and walked out of a TV show live on
air when he got annoyed that the presenter wasn't quite 100% onboard his pet identitarian peev.
He inevitably took the stance that gammon is a perfectly good derogatory term for white men who do not agree with him, and wrote in a
No, gammon is not a racial slur. Now let's change the conversation
The crybullies of the right are hamming it up over a term of mockery to deflect from their own poisoning of the political discourse
et your hankies ready, for I am here to share a story of woe and oppression. The nation's truly subjugated minority, affluent middle-aged white men in the shires who turn pink with rage at the thought of immigrants or taxes, are under siege. Golf
clubs across the land abound with dark mutterings: you can't even racially abuse Diane Abbott on Twitter, or call for Muslims to be deported, without the fascist left crushing your rights and freedoms by disapproving of things you've said. But
the cruellest oppression since Jim Davidson left his prime-time Big Break slot has come to pass: the left are now calling socially reactionary, affluent England gammon.
Anyway the always witty and polite Britisher has offered an eloquent repost to the Own Jones piece:
ASA's code writing arm, CAP, has launched a public consultation
on a new rule to tackle harmful gender stereotypes in ads, as well as on guidance to advertisers on how the new rule is likely to be interpreted in practice. The purpose of today's announcement is to make public the proposed rule and guidance,
which includes examples of gender portrayals which are likely to fall foul of the new rule.
The consultation proposes the introduction of the following new rule to the ad codes which will cover broadcast and non-broadcast media:
Advertisements must not include gender stereotypes that are likely to cause harm, or serious or widespread offence.
The consultation comes after the ASA published a report last year - Depictions, Perceptions and Harm - which provided an evidence-based case for stronger regulation of ads that feature certain kinds of gender stereotypical roles and characteristics. These are ads that have the potential to cause harm by contributing to the restriction of
people's choices, aspirations and opportunities, which can affect the way people interact with each other and the way they view their own potential.
We already apply rules on offence and social responsibility to ban ads that include gender stereotypes on grounds of objectification, inappropriate sexualisation and depiction of unhealthily thin body images.
The evidence does not demonstrate that the use of gender stereotypes is always problematic or that the use of seriously offensive or potentially harmful stereotypes in advertising is endemic. The rule and guidance therefore seek to identify
specific harms that should be prevented, rather than banning gender stereotypes outright.
The consultation on guidance to support the proposed new rule change provides examples of scenarios likely to be problematic in future ads. For example:
An ad that depicts a man with his feet up and family members creating mess around a home while a woman is solely responsible for cleaning up the mess.
An ad that depicts a man or a woman failing to achieve a task specifically because of their gender e.g. a man's inability to change nappies; a woman's inability to park a car.
Where an ad features a person with a physique that does not match an ideal stereotypically associated with their gender, the ad should not imply that their physique is a significant reason for them not being successful, for example in their
romantic or social lives.
An ad that seeks to emphasise the contrast between a boy's stereotypical personality (e.g. daring) with a girl's stereotypical personality (e.g. caring) needs to be handled with care.
An ad aimed at new mums which suggests that looking attractive or keeping a home pristine is a priority over other factors such as their emotional wellbeing.
An ad that belittles a man for carrying out stereotypically "female" roles or tasks.
Ella Smillie, gender stereotyping project lead, Committees of Advertising Practice, said:
"Our review of the evidence strongly indicates that particular forms of gender stereotypes in ads can contribute to harm for adults and children by limiting how people see themselves and how others see them and the life decisions they
take. The set of standards we're proposing aims to tackle harmful gender stereotypes in ads while ensuring that creative freedom expressed within the rules continues to be protected."
Director of the Committees of Advertising Practice, Shahriar Coupal said:
"Amid wide-ranging views about the portrayal of gender in ads is evidence that certain gender stereotypes have the potential to cause harm or serious offence. That's why we're proposing a new rule and guidance to restrict particular
gender stereotypes in ads where we believe there's an evidence-based case to do so. Our action is intended to help tackle the harms identified in the ASA's recent report on the evidence around gender portrayal in ads."
Mental health campaigners have criticised the return of the Netflix drama 13 Reasons Why , expressing concern that the second series of the drama about a teenager's suicide is due for release as summer exam stress peaks. The story of
17-year-old Hannah Baker's life and death continues on Friday 18 May.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists described the timing as callous, noting that suicide rates among young people typically rise during exam season and warning that the Netflix drama could trigger a further increase. Dr Helen Rayner, of the Royal
College of Psychiatrists, said:
I feel extremely disappointed and angry. This glamourises suicide and makes it seductive. It also makes it a possibility for young people -- it puts the thought in their mind that this is something that's possible. It's a bad programme that
should not be out there, and it's the timing.
The US-based series was a big hit for Netflix despite -- or perhaps because of -- the controversy surrounding the suicide storyline. The first series of 13 episodes depicted Hannah's friends listening to tapes she had made for each of them
explaining the difficulties she faced that had prompted her to kill herself.
Supporters of the first series said it was an accurate portrayal of high school life that would spark conversations between parents and their children and encourage viewers to seek information on depression, suicide, bullying and sexual assault.
It has become a little rare these days for moralist campaign groups to whinge about computer games but child campaigners from the NSPCC
have moved to fill the void.
The NSPCC claims that the immensely popular Battle Royal online fighting game could be used to endanger children and show them violence and other damaging things.
The game, along with similar titles like PUBG, have grown rapidly in popularity in recent months, leading to awareness by 'concerned' parents. The NSPCC warning is one of several on the subject.
The NSPCC says that the voice chat tools within Fortnite could be used to contact children. The way the game works means that anyone can get in touch with anyone else playing the game, and the feature cannot be fully disabled.
The NSPCC also warns that Fortnite features cartoon violence, where players can use a variety of weapons, such as guns and axes, to kill other players, despite the fact it has been rated suitable for children to play. The group also commentes that
the game draws attention to the fact that it is offered for free but features extensive in-app purchases. Those can become expensive, the NSPCC notes, and there have been reports of children spending large amounts of money without their parents
A TV ad for a gambling operator, Kwiff Ltd, seen on 2 December 2017 featured a voice-over that stated, Bet on the Ashes with Kwiff and every time you do your odds might get Kwiffed. What does getting Kwiffed feel like? It feels like the end of a
school day. The teacher says no homework tonight. But there was one thing I need you all to do. I need you to pop all these bubbles for me. Do you think you could do that? And that pretty much is what getting Kwiffed on the Ashes feels like.
The ad featured scenes showing grown men dressed in a school uniform and in one particular shot showed a female teacher open a wooden chest which was followed by the men popping some bubble wrap.
1. Three complainants challenged whether the ad was irresponsible because it was likely to be of particular appeal to under-18s.
2. One complainant challenged whether the ad featured juvenile behaviour, which was prohibited in gambling ads under the BCAP Code.
1. Not upheld
The BCAP Code stated that ads for gambling must not be likely to be of particular appeal to under-18s, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture. Gambling ads could not therefore appeal more strongly to under-18s than they
did to over-18s, regardless of when they were broadcast.
The ASA noted that the ad was set in a school classroom and featured men dressed in school uniform. However, the classroom was stylised in an old-fashioned manner and included blackboards and single wooden desks for pupils. We considered that such
an environment did not resemble modern day school classrooms and, consequently, did not reflect youth culture in that respect. Furthermore, the pupil characters in the ad were all grown men and did not feature any children.
Because of that, we concluded that the ad was unlikely to be of particular appeal to under-18s.
The voice-over in the ad stated What does getting Kwiffed feel like? It feels like the end of a school day. The teacher says no homework tonight. But there was one thing I need you all to do. I need you to pop all these bubbles for me. Do you
think you could do that? The ad then showed the men's reactions, who were excited in a childlike manner by the idea of popping bubble wrap. The ad then featured scenes of the men popping bubble wrap with great enjoyment.
We considered popping bubble wrap was mostly enjoyed by young children and therefore concluded that the scenes showing the men popping bubble wrap depicted juvenile behaviour, which was prohibited in gambling ads under the BCAP Code.
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Kwiff that their future advertising must not feature juvenile behaviour.