Indecency Regulation

It is a violation of federal law to broadcast indecent or profane programming during certain hours. Material is indecent if, in context, it depicts or describes sexual or excretory organs or activities in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium. In each case, the FCC must determine whether the material describes or depicts sexual or excretory organs or activities and, if so, whether the material is “patently offensive.”

FCC Stands Down on Stephen Colbert’s Trump Joke

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
2

The Federal Communications Commission will not be penalizing “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert after thousands of complaints flooded the government organization.

Your Internet privacy shouldn’t be a ‘luxury item,’ FCC Chairman Wheeler says

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
2

Should your online privacy depend on whether you've paid your Internet provider a little extra this month? That's one of the key policy questions concerning the future of the Web. And the nation's top telecom and broadband regulator, Tom Wheeler, signaled that he's not a fan of the idea.

William H. Tankersley, Watchdog for CBS Taste Standards

Location:
Scottsdale, AZ, United States
Recommendation:
2

William H. Tankersley, who defined broadcast standards for CBS during a volatile period of change in mores on television and in American society, doing celebrated battle with envelope pushers like Norman Lear and the Smothers Brothers, died on Feb. 5 in Scottsdale (AZ). He was 98. From the mid-1950s until 1972, when he left CBS to become head of the national Council of Better Business Bureaus, Tankersley served as the firewall between the viewers of the network’s programs and those writers, producers and advertisers who might willfully or inadvertently offend their sensibilities. He was, in effect, the network’s chief censor, though he would not have labeled his role that way.

Donald Trump wants the FCC to fine a critical Fox News pundit

Location:
FOX News Channel, 1211 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY, 10036, United States
Recommendation:
1

Donald Trump exploded on Twitter after National Review editor Rich Lowry appeared on Fox and used some rather, well, colorful language to describe exactly how Carly Fiorina bested Trump at the last Republican presidential debate.

RTDNA files comments with FCC over indecency fine

Location:
Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA), 529 14th Street, NW The National Press Building, Washington, DC, 20045, United States
Recommendation:
1

RTDNA objected to the FCC's decision to assess the maximum fine, for a fleeting and inadvertent image in the news story, and filed comments with the FCC in conjunction with the National Association of Broadcasters, calling on the agency to drop the proposed fine.

WDBJ Fights FCC Indecency Fine

Location:
WDBJ Television, 2807 Hershberger Road, Roanoke, VA, 24017, United States
Recommendation:
2

CBS affiliate WDBJ-TV Roanoke (VA) has filed its opposition to the Federal Communications Commission's proposed $325,000 indecency fine, which the FCC imposed for a brief video clip, albeit of a sexual organ, which the station says was inadvertently included in a story about a "controversy in Cave Spring, Va."

Rush Limbaugh Stepped Into It This Time

Location:
Akron, OH, United States
Recommendation:
1

On June 1, Radio host Rush Limbaugh, in referring to a report about brisk job growth, used the word "bulls--t." Cussing on the air, my friends, is where the Federal Communications Commission draws the line.

Instagram updates its rules to explain how it deals with nudity and abuse

Location:
Instagram, 1601 Willow Rd, Menlo Park, CA, 94025, United States
Recommendation:
1

Instagram is updating its community standards as part of an effort to give users more insight into how it polices content on its site. Users will see different policies on Instagram’s list of community standards, but the company isn’t actually changing anything about the way it deals with pictures and posts, said Nicky Jackson Colaco, director of public policy for Instagram.

Indecency, Politics and the FCC: A New Round in the Culture Wars?

Location:
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32603, United States
Recommendation:
1

Unlike abortion and health care, the new battle in the culture wars features a topic on which potential candidates from both sides of the political aisle are likely to agree: indecency is bad and parents today need all the help they can get from the government -- specifically, from the Federal Communications Commission -- in protecting the eyes and ears of their young children from sexual images and language.

Here We Go Again

Location:
Broadcasting & Cable, 28 E. 28th St., New York, NY, 10016, United States
Recommendation:
1

We sure hope the Federal Communications Commission’s record proposed indecency fine of $325,000 against Roanoke (VA) TV station WDBJ does not signal a return to when the agency was deciding that something like a funny home video showing a pacifier that slipped down the backside of a baby was halfway to being legally indecent.

WDBJ Fine Highlights Broadcast Inequality

Location:
TVNewsCheck, Chatham, NJ, 07928, United States
Recommendation:
1

When I first saw the Federal Communications Commission order fining Schurz's WDBJ Roanoke-Lynchburg (VA) $325,000 for broadcast indecency, I frankly didn't have much sympathy for the station. I figured that the offending story about an ex-porn star joining a local rescue squad was another attempt by a station to pump up the ratings with a some gratuitous sex. But after looking at the station's response to the FCC inquiry and a transcript of the story, I see that the story, which aired in July 2012, is legit.

The huge FCC fine against a Virginia station is a sign we need to rethink broadcast indecency rules

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
1

The Federal Communications Commission intends to fine WDBJ, a Roanoke (VA) television station, $325,000 for a July 2012 new report that included, for three seconds, a video ...

FCC Plans Maximum Fine Against WDBJ For Broadcasting Indecent Programming Material During Evening Newscast

Location:
Roanoke, VA, United States
Recommendation:
1

The Federal Communications Commission intends to fine WDBJ Television (Roanoke, VA) $325,000 for broadcasting graphic and sexually explicit material during the station’s evening newscast.

The Parents Television Council Seeks Complaints Against 'Family Guy'

Location:
Parents Television Council, 707 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90017, United States
Recommendation:
1

The Parents Television Council has asked its members to file indecency complaints against Fox's Family Guy over the Feb 8 episode.

Parents Television Council debate: We ask TV's biggest protest group all our longtime questions

Location:
Parents Television Council (PTC), 707 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90017, United States
Recommendation:
1

A Q&A with Parents Television Council President Tim Winters.

FCC Rejects Argument That "Redskins" Is a Dirty Word

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
3

The Federal Communications Commission isn't going to fine broadcasters for using the term "Redskins".

FCC Must First Define 'Indecent' for Spanish Broadcasters

Location:
Fletcher, Heald and Hildreth, 1300 North 17th St, Arlington, VA, 22209, United States
Recommendation:
1

In 2013, a Spanish-language broadcaster entered into a "consent decree" with the Federal Communications Commission to avoid breaking its indecency rules. The broadcaster, Liberman Broadcasting, agreed to make a hefty $110,000 “voluntary contribution” to the US Treasury and the settlement imposed on the broadcaster a three-year “comprehensive compliance plan.”

Activists challenge Los Angeles TV station for using Washington football team name

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
1

Activists are taking their fight to prevent broadcasters from using the name of the Washington football team across the country.

Free-Speech Foes Call an Audible

Location:
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, 1919 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC, 20006-3401, United States
Recommendation:
1

However you may feel about the name of the National Football League franchise in Washington, do we really want the Federal Communications Commission to step into the Redskins controversy as the nation’s culture police?

FCC’s Wheeler: 'Redskins' Petition Handling Is Standard Procedure

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
1

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler said the FCC will go through the regular process of vetting the petitions to deny the license renewal of Redskins owner Dan Snyder's WWXX-FM Washington over its use of 'Redskins.'

Radio station tells FCC: Don’t ban ‘Redskins’

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
1

Red Zebra Broadcasting told the Federal Communications Commission that it has no legal grounds to ban radio stations from using the name of the Washington Redskins.

NRB Urges FCC Not To Open Proceeding on 'Hate' Speech

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
1

The National Religious Broadcasters has asked the Federal Communications Commission not to open a proceeding on whether broadcasters use of the term Redskins is "hate" speech.

Will the FCC try to tackle ‘Redskins’?

Location:
Washington Post, 1150 15th St NW, Washington, DC, 20071, United States
Recommendation:
1

Using the FCC to break another private institution to the state’s saddle for the satisfaction of a clamorous faction illustrates how the government’s many tentacles give it many means of intimidating people who offend it.

Native Americans add to Redskins file at FCC

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
1

Three more petitions -- from people involved with a Native American radio program -- have been filed at the Federal Communications against a radio station owned by Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder for the use of the team’s name on air.

FCC considers banning use of term 'Redskins'

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
1

The Federal Communications Commission is mulling whether TV and radio stations should be banned from repeatedly saying the name of the Washington Redskins.

PTC Warns MTV Over Explicit VMAs Content

Location:
MTV Networks, 1515 Broadway, New York, NY, 10036, United States
Recommendation:
1

The Parents Television Council has written to MTV, asking the network not to have a repeat of the previous 2013 Video Music Awards, which came under fire for a performance from Robin Thicke and Miley Cryus that was deemed too explicit by some viewers.

FCC Looking Into Complaints about Miley Cyrus Fourth of July Weekend Special

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
1

Although NBC’s Fourth of July weekend special Miley Cyrus: Bangerz Tour only drew three complaints from the more than two million viewers, the Federal Communications Commission is in the process of determining if the show violated its rules against broadcast indecency or profanity.

Rep James Lankford Rips FCC, TV on House Floor

Location:
US Capitol, East Capitol Street, NE and 1st Street, NE, DC, 20515, United States
Recommendation:
2

Rep James Lankford (R-OK) introduced and then withdrew an amendment to the Financial Services bill--which includes Federal Communications Commission appropriations.

PTC Ranks Explicit, Violent Show Sponsors

Location:
Parents Television Council, 707 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90017, United States
Recommendation:
2

The Parents Television Council ranked the “Top Sponsors of Sexual Content, Suggestive Dialogue, Foul Language and Violence,” which feature the companies most closely associated with some of what the watchdog group calls “most offensive content on broadcast television.”

A Broadcaster's Guide To Washington Issues

Location:
Washington, DC, United States
Recommendation:
2

With so many new regulations and challenges facing television broadcasters, it’s hard to keep track of all the changes. With FCC Watch, an exclusive briefing on some of the major issues at the Federal Communications Commission prepared by David Oxenford and David O'Connor, attorneys in the Washington law offices of Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP.

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