Over strict…The BBFC publishes rules for EE ‘strict’ website blocking. The BBFC treat this as a PG rating

Posted: 23 March, 2015 in BBFC
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Read more BBFC News at MelonFarmers.co.uk

ee logo TheBBFC writes:

The BBFC is introducing a new Classification Framework for film and video, to filter video and website content available to customers under the age of 12 via mobile networks. The change on the EE networks will take effect from 16th March 2015.

EE restricts access to content classified as 18 and over on its mobile network as default for all customers, but offers three types of settings Off , Moderate and Strict giving customers the option to choose what content lock is right for them. The new Classification Framework is based on the BBFC’s PG standard and will be added to EE’s Strict content setting which can be changed on the device at any time.

David Austin, Assistant Director, BBFC said:

We first provided a framework for Mobile Operators to restrict access to content via mobile networks by customers aged under 18, in September 2013. We are pleased to be able to provide an additional Classification Framework for EE, to allow them to restrict content unsuitable for users under the age of 12. The Framework takes into account the same issues the BBFC considers when age rating a film or DVD and defines content which meets the BBFC’s PG Guidelines and is therefore suitable for those under 12.

The Classification Framework is a living document and will be updated regularly to reflect evolving public attitudes and societal concerns. It has been developed using the BBFC’s Classification Guidelines, these are based on large scale public consultations involving around 10,000 people, and are revised every 4-5 years.

And indeed the rules are strict

Sex

  • sexualised posing, dancing or gestures
  • sight of sexual activity unless discreet, infrequent and implied only
  • sight of sex toys and paraphernalia
  • moderate or crude sex references
  • nudity in a sexual context
  • sight of genitals in a work with no apparent educational purpose
  • sex education and advice which is inappropriate for children aged under 12 (this will include detailed discussion of topics such as abortion or sexual positions and performance)
  • verbal or visual references to bondage and other BDSM activities

Violence and Threat

  • moderate or strong violence
  • emphasis on injuries or blood, gory moments, which may be animated
  • prolonged or intense frightening sequences
  • moderate physical and psychological threat and horror
  • visual or verbal references to sexual violence

Surely a rule such as the clause that bans ‘verbal references to sexual violence’ would mean that all newspaper websites and perhaps all news site in general would have to be blocked along with daytime TV. The rules don’t seem very will adapted to website usage. There doesn’t seem to be any sense of practicality in applying the rules to large websites. Does a single use of strong language in a 12 thousand page website generally useful to kids, mean that the entire site has to be blocked?

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