poll - are Tribeca and Houston censorship? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: do you consider the pulling of Vaxxed to be censorship?
yes - from TiBeCa 5 33.33%
yes - from Houston Film festival 3 20.00%
no - from TriBeCa 4 26.67%
no - from Houston Film Festival 2 13.33%
undecided on TriBeCa 0 0%
undecided on Houston 1 6.67%
Voters: 15. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 131 Old 04-09-2016, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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poll - are Tribeca and Houston censorship?

Do you consider the pulling of vaxxed from TriBeCa and then from Houston film festival to be censorship?

An interesting read on censorship:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/cultureshock...finitions.html

Background on Vaxxed:

Vaxxed was slated to be part of the TriBeCa film festival. Certain pro-vaxxers learned this and successfully lobbied to have the film pulled from the line-up.

Houston was going to air the film. They then received a letter they referred to as "very threatening" from the mayors office telling them to cancel the film. At least partly due to worry about grant money, they pulled the film.

There is quite a bit online as well as on this forum about the events surrounding Vaxxed.

Eta: dang! I wanted to allow multiple poll options but cannot edit polls. Ok - just pick one and then tell us the other

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#2 of 131 Old 04-09-2016, 02:06 PM
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NO.

The Government did not pull this and speech is not being censored here either.

Same as to what was addressed in the LONG thread about changing what can and can't be posted here. It's NOT censorship by definition or protected free speech but US law.

Censoring what a private organization chooses is not the same as censorship by US law.
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#3 of 131 Old 04-09-2016, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Right - so I voted yes for Houston.

http://www.activistpost.com/2016/04/...-screened.html

A government official intervening and bringing up (threatening?) funding is censorship.

Activist Post contacted Janice Evans and was able to confirm that the Mayor did not directly stop the film from being shown, but did ask that it not be screened at the Houston International Film Festival. “The mayor did not halt the showing of the movie. He asked that it not be included in the lineup because the film festival has received city grant funding,” Janice Evans told AP. “It is contradictory for the city to provide financial assistance to an event that is disseminating an anti-vaccination message that is counter to the work our health department does.”

I am very slightly less convinced TriBeCa is censorship - as there was no government involved, although one article I read said sponsor were upset, so one can assume they pulled it to appease sponsors. While i think it is bad form and giving into pressure, I suppose a private organisation can pull a film. I do think the media - which includes journalists and film makers should be more willing to court controversy and generate discussion that say, a clothing store. I would have voted undecided on TriBeca but I could be swayed.

I will certainly say that orac and the like were acting as censors...does their success thus equal censorship?
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#4 of 131 Old 04-09-2016, 02:09 PM
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Not to go OT here but when a city chooses to "censor" an issues, event,etc, here in the US, they are starting to get major push back! The things going on because of what happened in Charlotte NC and what the state ended up doing is resulting in blow-back!

IMO when a group, such as what happened to the TriBeCa festival occurs, I don't think this will be the end of it when other films come around.
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#5 of 131 Old 04-09-2016, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
Right - so I voted yes for Houston.

http://www.activistpost.com/2016/04/...-screened.html

A government official intervening and bringing up (threatening?) funding is censorship.

Activist Post contacted Janice Evans and was able to confirm that the Mayor did not directly stop the film from being shown, but did ask that it not be screened at the Houston International Film Festival. “The mayor did not halt the showing of the movie. He asked that it not be included in the lineup because the film festival has received city grant funding,” Janice Evans told AP. “It is contradictory for the city to provide financial assistance to an event that is disseminating an anti-vaccination message that is counter to the work our health department does.”

I am very slightly less convinced TriBeCa is censorship - as there was no government involved, although one article I read said sponsor were upset, so one can assume they pulled it to appease sponsors. While i think it is bad form and giving into pressure, I suppose a private organisation can pull a film. I do think the media - which includes journalist and film makers should be more willing to court controversy and generate discussion that say, a clothing store. I would have voted undecided on TriBeca but I could be swayed.

i will certainly say that orac and the like were acting as censors...does there success thus equal censorship?
Kathy I would use this (like it or not) - https://www.aclu.org/what-censorship ACLU wins lots of "censorship" cases.

Censorship is done by government in the true meaning of the word, one can "censor" but it's not "true" censorship unless the free-speech part is effected, again, that is a govt. action here. People say "free speech" without really understanding what that means. Clearly what it means in the US isn't true for the rest of the world.
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I can't vote and you don't allow a straight NO.
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#7 of 131 Old 04-09-2016, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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From the pbs article.

"Censorship is a word of many meanings. In its broadest sense it refers to suppression of information, ideas, or artistic expression by anyone, whether government officials, church authorities, private pressure groups, or speakers, writers, and artists themselves. It may take place at any point in time, whether before an utterance occurs, prior to its widespread circulation, or by punishment of communicators after dissemination of their messages, so as to deter others from like expression. In its narrower, more legalistic sense, censorship means only the prevention by official government action of the circulation of messages already produced. Thus writers who "censor" themselves before putting words on paper, for fear of failing to sell their work, are not engaging in censorship in this narrower sense, nor are those who boycott sponsors of disliked television shows."
--Academic American Encyclopedia
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#8 of 131 Old 04-09-2016, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Eta: dang! I wanted to allow multiple poll options but cannot edit polls. Ok - just pick one and then tell us the other
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Originally Posted by serenbat View Post
I can't vote and you don't allow a straight NO.
I cannot edit the poll. I had wanted people to be able to cast multiple votes - in which case you would have been able to say "no" to both.

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#9 of 131 Old 04-09-2016, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Kathy I would use this (like it or not) - https://www.aclu.org/what-censorship ACLU wins lots of "censorship" cases.

Censorship is done by government in the true meaning of the word, one can "censor" but it's not "true" censorship unless the free-speech part is effected, again, that is a govt. action here. People say "free speech" without really understanding what that means. Clearly what it means in the US isn't true for the rest of the world.

So...the mayor saying to yank the film from the line-up is not censorship?

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#10 of 131 Old 04-09-2016, 02:21 PM
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I cannot edit the poll. I had wanted people to be able to cast multiple votes - in which case you would have been able to say "no" to both.
It only let me vote one time! Sorry! I'm NO for both.
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#11 of 131 Old 04-09-2016, 02:27 PM
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So...the mayor saying to yank the fill from the line-up is not censorship?
Oh I think it's wrong but it's not censorship by they meaning I feel censorship has. People can and still will see this. I don't think any of this really matters much except to make it a big deal for no reason! Playing the censorship card usually is quite lame IMO. Want to really help out this film, keep it in the news!

People read banned books, they still are in print (some of them!) others command high money! This will be shown in other places and sooner or later it will be on download I'm sure!

Right now to see it would cost $$$ for most people due to the limited run and cost associated to attend where it is, but clearly most who will see it will see not in a theater. Theaters really are on the way out, film fests serve their place in the minds of some, but not all.
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#12 of 131 Old 04-09-2016, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I read this a few days ago, and think it might fit here:

http://www.theverge.com/2015/12/30/1...ee-speech-2015


" The very fact that many earlier free speech debates were about laws means that we’ve sort of forced our conversation into the mold of a legal issue. We want the government to be extremely cautious about drawing distinctions between speech it likes and speech it doesn’t. If Congress says, "I’d like people to do this" instead of "People should be legally forced to do this," or "I won’t listen to you" instead of "You can’t speak," that can still have a chilling effect. But when you’re talking about Twitter users or forum moderators, you can’t cover those nuances with the same blanket rules.

One of the big responses to Gamergate calling everything censorship has been saying that "only governments can censor, period," and anything platforms do is up to them. That’s technically true, but as some people have pointed out, it’s a pretty extreme libertarian position for groups that generally think corporate control can still be coercive and bad."
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No I don't think either are censorship. The government is not saying it cannot be seen. And not agreeing to fund something is not the same as censorship.
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#14 of 131 Old 04-09-2016, 04:28 PM
 
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My votes are no to TriBeCa & yes to Houston.

Would you consider changing the title so it's not the same as the other thread? It's confusing for the chronically sleep deprived like me.

Sus
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I'm also a no to Tribeca as censorship and a yes to Houston.

Mostly because of the Prof down in Houston calling it censorship and also based on the fact that it is a government agency using funding to control speech. One of the many reasons I dislike having government connected to artistic expression. Although, obviously, corporate control of artistic expression can be just as bad, both artistically and morally.
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#16 of 131 Old 04-09-2016, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My votes are no to TriBeCa & yes to Houston.

Would you consider changing the title so it's not the same as the other thread? It's confusing for the chronically sleep deprived like me.

Sus

Will do
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#17 of 131 Old 04-09-2016, 05:36 PM
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@kathymuggle one way to look at this -IMO

If my city uses my tax dollars & I don't like what they are using it for I can complain, lots complain and reversals can & do happen.
Now should the city be funding arts, etc., that can be questioned and perhaps changes.
But the city of Houston (as all I read indicates) they have not passed a law banning theaters from showing this movie outside of the festival, that would be censorship IMO.
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The poll is only letting me select one, but I wanted to say yes on both.

Here's how the attorneys at the ACLU weigh in. Bolding is mine.

Quote:
Censorship, the suppression of words, images, or ideas that are "offensive," happens whenever some people succeed in imposing their personal political or moral values on others. Censorship can be carried out by the government as well as private pressure groups. Censorship by the government is unconstitutional.
In this case, therefore, legal action could be taken against Houston, if indeed local government was involved. But it would be a lot harder with Tribeca, a privately owned venture whose decision had no government interference.

Here's something else to consider:

Quote:
In contrast, when private individuals or groups organize boycotts against stores that sell magazines of which they disapprove, their actions are protected by the First Amendment, although they can become dangerous in the extreme. Private pressure groups, not the government, promulgated and enforced the infamous Hollywood blacklists during the McCarthy period. But these private censorship campaigns are best countered by groups and individuals speaking out and organizing in defense of the threatened expression.
My take on it is that censorship is playing dirty. With boycotts, e.g. of the film festival, Robert de Niro movies, etc., you're playing fair.

I don't buy the argument of "nobody told you that you can never see it, so it's not censorship." That's equivalent to saying that if a library bans Huck Finn from the shelves, it's not censorship because you could always go to another library. Carried a step further, China doesn't have Internet censorship because you could always go to another country and get online. Simply stated, Vaxxed was censored from both film festivals.

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#19 of 131 Old 04-09-2016, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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And not agreeing to fund something is not the same as censorship.
Agreed. That is not what happened however.

The mayor or his office in Houston sent an email telling the film festival to pull the film, and alluded to the fact that if they didn't, future funding could be in jeopardy.
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#20 of 131 Old 04-09-2016, 08:30 PM
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I don't buy the argument of "nobody told you that you can never see it, so it's not censorship." That's equivalent to saying that if a library bans Huck Finn from the shelves, it's not censorship because you could always go to another library. Carried a step further, China doesn't have Internet censorship because you could always go to another country and get online. Simply stated, Vaxxed was censored from both film festivals.
I think several things are being lumped here unfairly.

China censorship is not like a book not at a library. Banning books involves removing.

Applying this logic would mean no organization (not govt or govt related) can make decisions to remove anything thus it's banning & censorship to disinvited or remove.

Organizations, groups etc can change their mind, why can't they?

Are they "censoring" because the film festivals don't include every film there is? Could a film argue they are being censored if they don't get in?

Just because things don't seem right doesn't mean it's censorship.

I feel people misinterpret what censorship means like they often do with what is discrimination.

Regarding this film IMO this is a gift, it's the best thing that could happen!!!

One side is livid it was removed. Another side feels it should never have been considered. This comes off as a super win for the film!
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Book banning can be a great way to improve the market for a book. However, if you live in a country with real censorship, then book banning means that you risk your life if you own a particular book.

My grandmother was born and raised in Odessa, Russia and left as a young married woman in 1914. One of the stories about her life describes her mother burning several of her books in the stove because they were illegal and it was too risky to have them in the house. Now that is a story about banned books and censorship.

Things in the US are difficult, but compared to many countries we still have a lot of freedom to read, think, argue and watch.

Women in the US can drive cars!

When I was a young woman, getting a credit card in my own name would have been tricky if I were married.

For my great grandmother, signing a contract would have been illegal if she was married.

I did some research on the history of non-profits a while back. Why did so many non-profits have women's boards and men's boards? So the women could run things and do most of the day to day work, and men could fulfill the legal and financial requirements--married women (and most women who had time to serve on non-profit boards were married) couldn't legally sign contracts or open bank accounts, etc.

So women could run, for example, an orphanage, make all the day-to-day decisions, decide what to buy, who could be adopted out and all sorts of other stuff, but any time a paper needed to be signed they had to trot off and find some man.

Insane, isn't it?
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#22 of 131 Old 04-10-2016, 06:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
Do you consider the pulling of vaxxed from TriBeCa and then from Houston film festival to be censorship?

An interesting read on censorship:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/cultureshock...finitions.html

Background on Vaxxed:

Vaxxed was slated to be part of the TriBeCa film festival. Certain pro-vaxxers learned this and successfully lobbied to have the film pulled from the line-up.

Houston was going to air the film. They then received a letter they referred to as "very threatening" from the mayors office telling them to cancel the film. At least partly due to worry about grant money, they pulled the film.

There is quite a bit online as well as on this forum about the events surrounding Vaxxed.

Eta: dang! I wanted to allow multiple poll options but cannot edit polls. Ok - just pick one and then tell us the other
Yes, it's censorship.

Censorship occurs when access to material is limited because of its content or its association with certain groups or individuals, rather than on its merits otherwise.

So, if a film festival turns down a movie because it stinks, it's not censorship. If it turns down a movie because someone doesn't want to be associated with the makers, it's censorship.

This has nothing to do with the first amendment. That's a government issue. When huckleberry Finn is banned from a school (public or private ) library, it is because the language of it may be offensive. That is a content issue. That is censorship. When material that was commonly taught in earlier years (like "the Wreck of the Hesperus") is dropped from the curriculum because it no longer meets educational needs, that is NOT censorship.

TriBeCa shouldn't have put this film on the schedule, probably. But, having done so, removing it because of its content or associations is clearly censorship.

Now, I'm a parent. I censor things, all the time. If I was a film festival, I would be very picky in what I put in. But if I put in a movie, and then discovered the content didn't please me, ("oh my, there's an interracial couple? I can't show that") and pulled it, I'd be practicing censorship.

As these places are.
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#23 of 131 Old 04-10-2016, 07:11 AM
 
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From the pbs article.

"Censorship is a word of many meanings. In its broadest sense it refers to suppression of information, ideas, or artistic expression by anyone, whether government officials, church authorities, private pressure groups, or speakers, writers, and artists themselves. It may take place at any point in time, whether before an utterance occurs, prior to its widespread circulation, or by punishment of communicators after dissemination of their messages, so as to deter others from like expression. In its narrower, more legalistic sense, censorship means only the prevention by official government action of the circulation of messages already produced. Thus writers who "censor" themselves before putting words on paper, for fear of failing to sell their work, are not engaging in censorship in this narrower sense, nor are those who boycott sponsors of disliked television shows."
--Academic American Encyclopedia
These many meanings make it largely meaningless to debate whether something is "censorship." Maybe it is, maybe it isn't, depending on what definition you are using.

Censorship in the narrower, legalistic sense is generally bad. But "censorship" in the broadest sense occurs all the time and is often completely fine. MDC engages in censorship regarding circumcision and mandatory vaccination. Most of the blogs I read and Facebook groups I follow engage in censorship about what kinds of topics and opinions can be posted. My church engages in censorship about what messages can be promoted from the pulpit or the church bulletin.

Whether these particular decisions to control expression are good or bad is something to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Calling such decisions "censorship," though, seems like an attempt to frame them as bad by associating them with something people generally think is bad (government censorship).
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#24 of 131 Old 04-10-2016, 07:17 AM
 
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These many meanings make it largely meaningless to debate whether something is "censorship." Maybe it is, maybe it isn't, depending on what definition you are using.

Censorship in the narrower, legalistic sense is generally bad. But "censorship" in the broadest sense occurs all the time and is often completely fine. MDC engages in censorship regarding circumcision and mandatory vaccination. Most of the blogs I read and Facebook groups I follow engage in censorship about what kinds of topics and opinions can be posted. My church engages in censorship about what messages can be promoted from the pulpit or the church bulletin.

Whether these particular decisions to control expression are good or bad is something to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Calling such decisions "censorship," though, seems like an attempt to frame them as bad by associating them with something people generally think is bad (government censorship).
Kathymuggle's question pertains to whether or not Tribeca and Houston were cases of censorship---not good censorship or bad censorship, but just censorship. Using the ACLU definition with which I'm satisfied, both film festivals them were cases of censorship.

Mothering.com and Tribeca both have a right to exercise censorship, and nobody has a legal right to contest these decisions. Organizers of the Houston event may have a legal case depending on the government's involvement in getting the film pulled.

The discussion about Tribeca needs to acknowledge that it was a case of censorship and be reframed around whether that censorship was a good or bad decision. Denying that it was censorship, however, is disingenuous.

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#25 of 131 Old 04-10-2016, 07:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by SchoolmarmDE View Post
TriBeCa shouldn't have put this film on the schedule, probably. But, having done so, removing it because of its content or associations is clearly censorship.
Thank you. The link upthread is claiming that it simply wasn't selected and therefore cannot be censorship. But it was indeed selected and then banned.
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#26 of 131 Old 04-10-2016, 07:27 AM
 
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Kathymuggle's question pertains to whether or not Tribeca and Houston were cases of censorship---not good censorship or bad censorship, but just censorship. Using the ACLU definition with which I'm satisfied, both film festivals them were cases of censorship.

Mothering.com and Tribeca both have a right to exercise censorship, and nobody has a legal right to contest these decisions. Organizers of the Houston event may have a legal case depending on the government's involvement in getting the film pulled.

The discussion about Tribeca needs to acknowledge that it was a case of censorship and be reframed around whether that censorship was a good or bad decision. Denying that it was censorship, however, is disingenuous.
The problem is that "censorship" is a loaded term that means, in most people's minds, something bad--because it's an ambiguous word with multiple definitions. What exactly is the point of focusing on whether it's censorship, instead of starting with the question of whether it's a good or bad decision? It seems to me that it's just an attempt to frame the discussion upfront as being about something bad.

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#27 of 131 Old 04-10-2016, 07:30 AM
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Mothering.com and Tribeca both have a right to exercise censorship, and nobody has a legal right to contest these decisions.
@kathymuggle too

Guess I'm missing the point here. What difference does any of this mean?

IMO it just helps this film so much, I don't know the words "banned" or "censorship" at this point mean all that much. The desired effect is a win. Actually the media helped reinforce other perceptions too, again not a bad thing.
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#28 of 131 Old 04-10-2016, 07:32 AM
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The problem is that "censorship" is a loaded term that means, in most people's minds, something bad--because it's an ambiguous word with multiple definitions. What exactly is the point of focusing on whether it's censorship, instead of starting with the question of whether it's a good or bad decision? It seems to me that it's just an attempt to frame the discussion upfront as being about something bad.
Posting at the same time & asking basically the same.
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#29 of 131 Old 04-10-2016, 07:34 AM
 
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China censorship is not like a book not at a library. Banning books involves removing.
Fair enough. My point is that it isn't reasonable to say that just because something was censored in only one place, it wasn't censored at all.
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#30 of 131 Old 04-10-2016, 07:38 AM
 
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@kathymuggle too

Guess I'm missing the point here. What difference does any of this mean?
It's important to distinguish between the legal and alegal definitions of censorship (e.g. state-sponsored vs. private sector) and prevent them from getting muddled together. I want to make it clear that censorship can exist without government involvement, so Tribeca was as much involved in censorship as Houston.

I agree with you about how this whole brouhaha has served to strengthen the film's publicity. In fact, it would be hard to argue otherwise.
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