Censorship

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Censorship
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Belgium is a European country whose main religion is Christianity. It is a member of the European Union

General censorship[]

Book censorship[]

  • Guggenheimer Wast Witter - this novel written by Herman Brusselmans, a writer who regularly pokes fun at Flemish celebrities in a degrading and largely inaccurate manner, sparked a controversy when one of his victims, fashion designer Ann Demeulemeester, convincing a court to ban the novel in 1999. Belgians were outraged seeing this as preventive censorship with no chance for the author to really defend himself; this ban could be circumvented by importing the book from the Netherlands. In 2011, former Belgian Prime Minister and then-EU governor Herman van Rompuy introduced an EU-wide law preventing this sort of judicial order, which led to the ban being overturned.

TV censorship[]

Movie censorship[]

  • La Kermesse Heroïque - this film was banned between 1940 and 1945 in the Nazi-occupied Belgium by Joseph Goebbels due to its pacifist themes. Its director, Jacques Feyder, was hunted down for arrest but managed to hide in Switzerland.
  • In the Realm of the Senses - this Japanese film was banned due to its graphic sex scene. Belgium was the only country in Europe to ban this film. This was the last movie to be censored in the country, with the ban being lifted in 1994.

Internet censorship[]

  • The Pirate Bay is blocked in Belgium due to copyright violations.
  • Vitae, a cryptocurrency website, is blocked due to potential scam.
  • Isohunt, KickassTorrents, h33t, monova, TorrentReactor, TorrentHound, Yify Subtitles, Interplanetary File System and MEGA are blocked unilaterally in Belgium.
  • Many gambling websites are blocked in Belgium.

Video game censorship[]

  • In light of the controversy surrounding loot box/gacha-style microtransactions that erupted in the latter half of 2010s, Belgium took an aggressive approach, declaring them gambling and therefore illegal. As a result, several video games have had their microtransaction systems disabled in the country in compliance with the law, and others that have such mechanics as their primary monetization systems (such as Nintendo's Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes) have completely shut down in the country. The Pan European Game Information introduced an In-Game Purchases descriptor in response.
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