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FCC Isn’t Sure How to Censor Television Anymore, Wants Our Advice
by Susana Polo | 4:17 pm, April 2nd, 2013
The Federal Communications Commission wants a piece of our minds. I suggest you keep your use of profanity to the minimum.
The FCC lost a major court case last year when the Supreme Court itself ruled that in favor of broadcasters and told the agency that its stated rules and regulations on what was considered too “indecent” for prime time television were unconstitutionally vague. Apparently this caused the agency to take a hard look at its work on resolving reported claims of indecency, primarily by eliminating all the claims that were too old or poorly reported which apparently eliminated 70% of their backlog. I don’t want to state the obvious here, but that’s not an efficient system. At the same time, the agency prioritized “egregious” violations of FCC indecency policies.
Now that it’s got itself squared away in that respect, though, it’s looking for input from the public, oddly enough, on whether to change its rules. Specifically, the Commission wants to know how we feel about isolated profanity and nudity. Insert your own joke here. Currently the commission appears to be considering ignoring programs that have only isolated incidences of profanity (a curse every now and then), and only considering “deliberate and repetitive use [of explicit words] in a patently offensive manner is a requisite to a finding of indecency.” Whether or not such a change would make it easier for MTV to not totally fail on bleeping out the right words in Mean Girls remains to be seen. It is also considering treating nudity in the same way. A show would only be fined for deliberate and repetitive instances of nudity rather than rare or accidental (in the case of live broadcast) nudity.
And when I say looking for input, I mean it. They’ve set up a whole system to take the comments of folks with access to the internet. Welcome to internet comments, FCC. There’s absolutely no profanity or nudity here. We promise.