Censorship deletes Tap Blog comment from Rick Strong containing reply from ATVOD

I received this comment to my email.

I have a great deal of respect for your blog, The Tap, and it is one of the sites I like to check every day.

I posted a comment twice on your article

http://the-tap.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/take-to-streets-with-leaflets-and.htmlwith the reply I received from ATVOD re the UK Column,

I appreciate you are busy, but I would be grateful if you could outline why you deleted this comment- twice- from your blog.Many thanks

Rick Strong

TAP –  Rick, I did not delete this comments, so it appears that someone else has done so.  Let’s track it down.  I’ll go back to my emails and bring it onto this post. I saw it on there while I was at work.   As I say, it was definitely not me who deleted it.  I have noticed one or two comments on emails that don’t arrive on the blog.  I had mentioned this only recently.

Yes.  The comments were on the emails, but were not on 
the blog, as follows –
 
I wrote to ATVOD yesterday for clarification of ‘TV-like’. 
They replied today:

Thank you for contacting ATVOD regarding “The UK

Column”.

The Authority for Television On Demand (“ATVOD”) is

co-regulator for the editorial content of certain UK video 
on demand services. Our website (www.atvod.co.uk
contains further information on the types of service that are 
regulated and the Rules with which regulated services must 
comply.

ATVOD received a complaint about the UK Column website

in January 2014 and proceeded to investigate the service. 
This investigation resulted in a decision that the service was 
an ‘On Demand Programme Service’ requiring notification to 
ATVOD. For the full reasoning behind this decision, please 
see the published Determination:

http://www.atvod.co.uk/uploads/files/Rules_14_FD_The_

Please note that during this process the service provider was

 invited to make written representations to ATVOD and did 
not do so. After receiving the Determination, the service 
provider was given the opportunity to appeal against the 
decision to Ofcom, but did not do so. As no appeal was 
made, and no notification received, ATVOD issued an 
‘Enforcement Notification’ requiring the service provider to 
notify the service and pay the associated regulatory fee 
(details of ATVOD’s banded fee structure can be found at

Please also note that at no point was the provider instructed

to remove the service or any of its videos from YouTube. 
We would advise you to contact the UK Column directly for 
information on why the service has ceased to operate.

The document ‘Guidance on Who Needs to Notify’ available

provides information on what may be considered as TV like’ 
and the criteria used to assess if a Service is an On 
Demand Programme Service. You may want to pay 
particular attention to pages 6-8.

I put up a reply I received from ATVOD with a clarification 
of ‘TV-like’ in the comments section for this article. Why 
have you deleted the comment?
 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

2 Responses to “Censorship deletes Tap Blog comment from Rick Strong containing reply from ATVOD”

  1. I think I’ve found the loophole in their remit:

    Guidance notes:
    http://www.atvod.co.uk/uploads/files/Guidance_on_who_needs_to_notify_Ed_4.0_Feb_2014.pdf

    “to provide regulatory protection in circumstances where the parallel with television is such that audiences would reasonably expect it”

    Can ATVOD really claim that *the audience* would expect a Youtube channel to be regulated like TV? Can they really claim they are ‘parallel’? I don’t think so…

    “The Directive, and Part 4A of the Act, are therefore intended to cover on-demand and broadcast television audiovisual media services which compete for the same audiences”

    Services which compete for the same audiences? Name ONE TV programme which is in competition with UKC? I can’t.

    I think they should fight it, and make as much noise about it as poss, but it’ easy for me to say that from the comfort of my office…

  2. Hi Folks. I sent the following email to ATVOD today. Feel free to plagiarise / modify and send your own version…

    Dear ATVOD,
    I read that you have demanded the UK Column newspaper submit to regulation by yourselves, and consequently they have taken down all their YouTube videos. This seems a clear administrative over-reach, and I’m concerned that this is a dangerous attack on the right to free speech.

    Your selection of the UK Column for this action, one is prompted to deduce, is for political reasons. It is, after all, pointing out corruption in high places. If not, then surely by your logic, every YouTube channel should be under your regulation? Is this the case? Is your aim to have every YouTube channel regulated by yourselves?

    Here are just two points from Section 3.4 of your Guidance notes which, certainly to me, clearly indicate that ths action is outside your remit:
    http://www.atvod.co.uk/uploads/files/Guidance_on_who_needs_to_notify_Ed_4.0_Feb_2014.pdf

    1) “to provide regulatory protection in circumstances where the parallel with television is such that audiences would reasonably expect it”

    Can ATVOD really claim that the *audience* would expect a Youtube channel like the UK Column’s to be regulated like TV? Can you really claim they are ‘parallel’ in any meaningful way? I think not.

    The reality is quite the opposite. The UK Column’s audience read their newspaper, and watch their videos specifically because it’s not regulated by government, and they can report freely on government activities. Britons have been given many good reasons to become deeply skeptical of government over the past decades. This action of yours is an example.

    If the UK Column were to be regulated by yourselves, they would be unable to speak freely. If they could not speak freely, their audience would disappear. Clearly their audience expect their videos to be free of regulation. You guidelines clearly state that this form of outlet should not be subject to regulation.

    I, for one, am their audience, and I am against your regulation. I’m quite sure 100% of their audience would be against it. Have you asked them?

    2) “The Directive, and Part 4A of the Act, are therefore intended to cover on-demand and broadcast television audiovisual media services which compete for the same audiences”

    Can you name a single TV programme which is in competition with UKC? I can’t. Can you name any TV programme which regularly covers the topics of: Interest free money, ‘Common Purpose’, or child-stealing by the UK government?

    The fact is that there is absolutely no competition between anything on TV, and the UKC’s videos because the content is fundamentally different. Generally, their audiences are looking for different things. People watching TV are expecting entertainment. People watching UKC on YouTube are looking for information. The content is different, the audience is different, hence there’s no competition.

    If you were to regulate YouTube, as OFCOM does TV, that would actually cause increased competition between outlets – because your censorship would drastically reduce the amount of outlets, and possible topics. It would introduce competition where there was none before.

    I strongly urge you to review your decision in this regard, and to withdraw your demand. To persist with it would set a most damaging precedent which is both against your own remit and the interests and custom of the British people.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.