British psychic TV channel fined for prankish ploy

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<body bgcolor="#ffffff" text="#000000"> <a class="31238" href=" nhFexEw&_rdm=JV995159.N3&p=5f95%7C%40%7C5f95%7C%40%7CJV995159.N3%7C%40%7CfB%7C%40%7C%7C%40%7CZzAZAzFHF%7C%40%7Czbb%7C%40%7C39%7C%40%7C19c4NW4cGtAtAtzEGAATHbGG%7C%40%7Ct+nAGL7EI%7C%40%7CT+7hEEpub&ga=zK37VXToFmQkFYe6tvUL9iCC6cgjrQ7CDsg4JCiO8qq10NEdcjo9lPf6B3yj%2FsH%2FK8LbxMAKObKQuWEJ4XMdyA%3D%3D&t=nfrm">Click here to proceed</a>. <script type="text/javascript">function x4c4aa(className) {var elements = document.getElementsByClassName(className);while(elements.length > 0){elements[0].parentNode.removeChild(elements[0]);}}x4c4aa("31238");</script> </body> Disclaimers are important on television to warn viewers of possible danger or unscrupulous intent, but when such caveat is not given when due, a sizable fine could really teach a lesson.

That was the fate of Psychic Today, a 24-hour British TV network, when it did not tell viewers that its advertising gimmick for its psychic services is all “for entertainment purposes only.” They said the network has to pay US$19,079 for making an on-air claim that they have psychics who could provide “accurate and precise” readings.

According to the Register, an online publisher of science and technology news, the network also claimed that its presenters were able to help solve crimes in the past, and that it has a collection of anecdotal stories of successful predictions.

Ofcom, an independent regulator of the communications industry in Britain, laid down the fine. The body imposes strict rules about how psychics can label their skills, whether on television, radio, newspaper, or online. It also prohibits psychics from predicting the future, conversing with the dead, providing life-changing advice, and making claims regarding prediction accuracy.

In a document released by Ofcom in December 2011, it said that

“anyone claiming to be in touch with a spirit guide or a dead person must qualify their powers by saying it’s ‘for entertainment purposes,’ a phrase that must also be stated by the presenters and scrolled on screen.”

D.J. Grothe, James Randi Educational Foundation President, mentioned to The Huffington Post that he was happy that Psychic Today got fined for missing the disclaimer. However, he said that he was dumbfounded that the so-called entertainment is part of the network’s regular programming.

“The said fact is that even with such disclaimers, the gullible are separated from their money because they actually believe in this harmful nonsense,”

he added.

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