The Chief Executive of the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has suggested that all streaming sites should have standardised age ratings to protect children.
Pointing to the recent announcement that Netflix has voluntarily classified all of its content, making it the first service to do so in the UK, David Austin said that technology had reached the point where it could now be rolled out to all streaming and social media video-sharing platforms.
Interestingly, David Austin refers to statistics which support the use of age ratings online; he says that 88% of parents and 95% of teenagers want to see age ratings on streaming platforms. Whilst access controls and protection of young people online has been a priority for parents and regulators alike, it is perhaps still a surprise to see that this has been driven by those young people as well.
These statements follow recent announcements from the UK government in relation to anticipated online duty of care laws, as well as legislation introduced this autumn which gives Ofcom powers to regulate video-sharing platforms including to fine platforms which do not have measures in place to protect children from harmful content.
The BBFC is already working with a number of other streaming services, and so perhaps it is only a matter of time before this milestone action from Netflix becomes the norm across the industry.