Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Online Videos To Carry Age Ratings In The UK

Annie Lennox explicit content rating image
Do movie and television ratings actually work? We've had them for years in the US, but do they actually do anything to prevent youngsters from seeing anything that could be potentially harmful to them? These questions could be debated endlessly, and while some regulation is no-doubt useful, is more regulation necessary?

The British Board of Classification thinks so, as it has moved to force online music videos on YouTube and Vevo to carry an age classification as of October. The ruling is designed to protect children from "graphic content," according to a speech given by prime minister David Cameron. We can all agree that there's plenty of that to go around.

The US has a voluntary system for music videos developed by the RIAA that displays a "Parental Guidance" label on videos with explicit content. Most of the large online video providers already have age verification systems in place to ensure that less mature audiences are at least warned of the content. Of course, the problem is that most videos provided by the major labels are placed in this category.

A ratings board for games already exists in the US called the Entertainment Software Ratings Board has extensive ratings categories that covers most situations and monitors that industry quite closely.

The Internet has been largely exempt from any societal rules, but that's changing as it's now a primary piece of almost everyone's daily life. It's debatable whether video ratings will make any more of a difference than has been the case until now. Concerned and diligent parents are still the prime ingredient in good parenting. Maybe we should just leave it at that.

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