1. Entertainment

    Captain Underpants Needs More Censorship than an Erotic Adult Novel Because that Makes Total Sense

    Captain Underpants, a graphic novel intended for children, holds the #1 spot for the most challenged book for two years in a row-- beating E.L. James Fifty Shades of Grey, which ranked #4. Yup, a comic about an imagined superhero who prefers to not wear any pants is a lot more raunchy than awful descriptions of porn.

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  2. Entertainment

    Neverwhere Banned In A New Mexico High School Because We Can’t Have Nice Things

    Not even a month after Banned Books Week came and went, a school in New Mexico has decided to remove Neil Gaiman's classic fantasy novel Neverwhere from both their curriculum and their library after one parent complained of sexual innuendo. Wait, sexual innuendo? Really? Out of all the things you could have objected to in that book?

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  3. Tech

    Proposed Internet Error 451 Would Warn Users of Government Censorship

    Government censorship of the Internet is becoming more and more common, and in many cases blocked sites are indistinguishable from those that are just not working. That's why the Open Rights Group is proposing a "451 unavailable" error message to appear on those sites to let us know if we're living in a Bradburian dystopia.

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  4. Weird

    #@*& You! Russia Attempting to Block Foul Language From the Internet

    In a move to protect children, Russia wants to ban cursing from the interwebs. This is only the latest in a series of similarly silly proposals. It joins the ranks of suggestions such as requiring dating sites to use passport verification. Oh, Russia. This is not how you protect children, and it's certainly not how you internet.

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  5. Weird

    Preschool Bans Kids From Pretending to Be Superheroes, Misses Point of Childhood Completely [Updated]

    In 1954 Fredric Wertham published his book Seduction of the Innocent which said comic books were the cause of juvenile delinquency in America. They aren't, but the idea that comics are dangerous keeps popping up. This time it's showing itself in the form of a preschool that has banned "Super Hero play." What's really offensive, though, is what they've asked parents to do.

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  6. Tech

    It Just Got Real: China Sanctions Real-Name Registration Requirements for Internet Users

    Not too long ago, the Chinese government had been toying with the notion of approving a proposal requiring real-name registration for Internet users when working with service providers and similar vendors. This procured registration information would then be stored in a data system that could possibly be accessed by the authorities to monitor the online day-to-day activities of the general public. Many concerned citizens feared that this proposed controversial move would be an encroachment on the free speech online anonymity brings -- especially in a nation notorious for censorship crackdowns on those that dispense unpopular opinions against China's ruling body. It looks like those fears have been made real since the government has sanctioned the real-name registration proposal, putting the public's private affairs on shaky ground.

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  7. Tech

    United Kingdom Rejects Opt-Out Porn Filter Despite Pleas to Think of the Children

    The United Kingdom has, in the past, been notoriously difficult on Internet pornography. There's even a Wikipedia page dedicated to their anti-pornography movement, if that's any indication. A recent campaign sought to automatically block all pornographic content from being accessed by residents of the U.K. unless they explicitly told their ISP they wanted access. That surely wouldn't have been entirely awkward. "Greetings, company that provides my Internet. I would like access to porn, thanks." Thankfully, ministers have rejected this proposed filter.

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  8. Tech

    Studios Demand Google Take Down Their Own Sites Because DMCA Really Works For Real

    Is it time to declare that the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a mess yet? Because several major studios have requested that Google take down legitimate websites featuring their own content, including their Facebook pages, and in one case a direct link to a show's page on its own network website. The requests were most likely filed automatically by bots scouring the Internet for copyright violations, but still, when you ask Google to take down your own movie from iTunes and Amazon because of copyright violations that don't exist, you look like a jerk. Or at least an idiot. Yeah, probably an idiot.

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  9. Weird

    Head in Sand: China Blocks The New York Times Over Article Critical of Leadership

    China's fairly notorious for the stranglehold they keep on their country's ability to browse the Internet. Censorship, in general, is the name of the game, and they apply it liberally. It should come as no surprise then that China's gone and blocked the New York Times over an article critical of Wen Jiabao, their prime minister, and his family. Seems that his relatives have become "mysteriously" wealthy since Mr. Wen's rise to power, and China's not a fan of anyone that points it out.

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  10. Tech

    Twitter Uses Local Censorship for First Time, Bars Account From Appearing in Germany

    Twitter's not often one to involve themselves in somewhat controversial actions. Twitter users, sure, but not the company itself. This is why their announcement back in January that they now could effectively censor tweets that break local speech laws was seen as an issue. Freedom of speech is freedom of speech, dissenters said, and this kind of prohibitive action would make future social uprisings far more difficult. Yesterday, Twitter officially used this power for the very first time to censor the tweets of a group called Besseres Hannover from appearing in Germany.

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  11. Tech

    Iran Only Blocked Gmail Because They Couldn’t Figure Out How to Just Block YouTube

    It appears that Iran has today pulled back the block it had in place on Gmail, which the country put in place a week ago. We'd originally suggested that Iran didn't truly understand the implications of their action, but it seems that they totally did: They just didn't know how to stop it. That anti-Islam clip was the intended target, but the country didn't know how to only block YouTube. To be fair, this type of digital incompetence is present universally, but it's more prevalent in countries prone to censorship.

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  12. Tech

    Iran to Block Google, Doesn’t Seem to Understand Implications

    Censorship of the Internet isn't something that's new in Iran. Their new plan to block Google indefinitely, however, is probably the worst instance of this to date. This ostensibly relates back to the anti-Islam clip that fueled attacks on United States embassies and consulates, but more than likely has to do with the fact that Iran likes to keep their citizens on a strict leash. What they don't seem to understand is that blocking Google means blocking everything associated with it to boot, like Google Maps, Drive, Calendar, and so on. More sinister is the thought that, perhaps, they actually do, and that's the goal.

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  13. Tech

    Windows Live Messenger Now Censors Links to The Pirate Bay

    If it seems The Pirate Bay is the only torrent site to be in the news, that's because it is big and popular enough for more mainstream outlets to pay attention to it. Case in point, there are a ton of places on the Internet from which to grab torrents -- some of which extremely popular -- but only links to The Pirate Bay have been blocked by Microsoft in Windows Live Messenger, as opposed to links to other popular torrent sites.

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  14. Entertainment

    Seattle Library Upholds Man’s Right To Watch Porn On Its Computers

    Seattle's Lake City library has been fighting a particularly contentious fight lately, upholding patrons' right to watch pornography on library computers. Well, not that specifically, but rather the right of patrons to access whatever content they like on the library's unfiltered Internet content, LOLcats and porn alike. Naturally, there have been some complaints about the pornography, but things have been astoundingly civil so far.

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  15. Tech

    Twitter Can Now Censor Tweets in Order to Comply With Local Speech Laws

    Twitter has gained something of a reputation as being a tool for social change, after its prominence in the disputed Iranian elections in 2009, the Arab Spring of 2011, and as a growing piece of the political discussion in this country. Key to this has been Twitter's universality; a Tweet from Tehran or Cairo can appear to anyone around the world. Now, Twitter has announced new changes that will allow them to hide tweets in countries with differing interpretations of "freedom of expression." Yeah, that pretty much sounds like censorship.

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