(Above)Gary Farrelly, IMPORTANT STATEMENT REDACTED, (2008, private collection, Morocco.)

An 84 hour ban on news from the [fictional] autonomous coastal city state of Neustern has been lifted by the social networking website facebook. An additional separate ban on all New Obsessive postings via the site has also been withdrawn. The bizarre occurrence started on December 31st with the publication of a short piece entitled
Neustern extends sympathy to North Korea in New Obsessive. The article described the dispatch of a diplomatic delegation from Neustern to Pyongyang to attend the funeral of the deceased dictator Kim Jung Il. After linking the post to facebook it was immediately reported to the censors as offensive! by an unknown party. Post haste the freedom to link via facebook was curtailed without explanation. Strange to ban a news report from Neustern which is a completely fictional country . The adventures of the autonomous coastal city state were invented by artist Gary Farrelly to occompany his maps of the imaginary micro state. The banning party mistook for fact the article's detailing that Neustern's diplomatic closeness to DPRK had been initiated when Kim Jung Il personally directed a tourism video for Neustern's state run television channel RTSN1*.

The bans appear to have been lifted early this morning after the artist lodged a complaint with with the social networking site. "I told them that the piece was about diplomatic gestures to North Korea by a country I made up. I argued that the fictional status of Neustern makes it impossible to censor under the constitutional right to freedom of expression [guaranteed in most countries]. I told them that if they didn't lift the ban I would kick up one hell of a fuss. The freedom of expression gives us the right to say controversial things, that's the reason it's there. This whole episode strongly evidences that the right to freedom of the press, expression and speech are shrill shrieking fraud".

Meanwhile, New Obsessive has reported an 8 fold increase in it's readership in 2011. The combined increase in the last two quarters of the year was 85% making the publication the fastest growing on the planet.

Vladimir Laggode, Tashkent.

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