In the last few days, it was made public that a series of posters, for the promotion of the upcoming Sam Harris tour, are essentially being censored by APN, a company that is largely responsible for large billboard posters and advertisements.
In the above notice by Think Inc., the following generic explanation has been offered:
APN’s justification for this has been based on the perception that Think Inc. has violated section 2.1 of the Outdoor Media Association’s (OMA) code of ethics: “Advertisements shall not portray or depict material in a way which discriminates against or vilifies a person or section of the community on account of race, ethnicity, nationality, sex, age, sexual preference, religion, disability or political belief.”
To start with, the posters are actually quite funny, which is a refreshing contrast to the vast majority of the advertisement industries sloppy diarrhoea that seems to infest every square-meter of the viewing public's eyeline:
To deny Sam Harris the right to advertise the above content, is really sickening, this is because the average atheist such as myself is constantly presented with a zoo of Religious mumbo-jumbo via the various media channels containing messages to the contrary. For example, late at night or early morning, the evangelical shows which have been published to feed the brainwashed appetite of the religious masses, depicting joyous songs of praise or alleged mass healing etc.. this material is highly offensive to me, and anyone else of a non-secular denomination, and we are forced to partially absorb some of it, even if it is for a mere two (2) seconds, the time it takes to change the channel or throw an axe at the TV. Alternatively, every time one drives past a christian-oriented church, their own billboard advertising service times often contains quotes such as 'Jesus is Coming' or 'Be Ready for the End', Now APN aren't responsible for broadcasting TV or managing Church billboards, however, my point is, that there are countless examples where content of a religious nature is forcefully broadcasted, much more aggressively than a few black-and-white sharply-worded posters.
The truth is, that Sam Harris, being one of the most articulate advocates of the atheist philosophy, I would be so bold as to say, the REALIST philosophy, is on tour to present to an existing Atheistic community (and perhaps people that are borderline questioning their current faiths) with his well-founded, respectfully-argued, and highly-compelling contentions. The problem is that Atheists, from time-to-time, can be 'branded' as left-wing conspiracy theorist nut-jobs, however, this couldn't be further from the truth, especially considering that they account for up to 22% of the Australian population a 'significant' minority which is more than the Anglican Church (17%) and almost as high as the Roman Catholic Church (25%), so, when one considers the position from the context of freedom of speech, this makes the recent move by APN nothing short of a form of blatant censorship, which begs the question, who exactly is pulling the puppet strings of the APN machine?
For those interested, tickets to this event can be purchased HERE: