Sunday, 16 June 2013

YouTube Video Age Ratings Pilot

The British Board of Film Classification and other European partners are working on a pilot that will allow video creators to self-rate their videos for age suitability against a defined list of criteria. A traffic light system will then be used to identify the age suitability of the videos.

A pilot for the DIY classification system will run in the UK, Italy and the Netherlands over the summer.

To simplify things the trial will use three ratings:

  • Green: Parental Guidance
  • Amber: 12 - 15
  • Red: 18
Websites that adopt the system will be able to show ratings to their users. YouTube is expected to be one of the websites that trials the approach.

This is very good news. The current Safety Mode controls on YouTube are no where near sufficient for avoiding unsuitable content on YouTube.

Content producers are in a good position to provide a rating for their content and mechanisms can then be put in place for users to provide feedback on those ratings.
 The problem I encounter the most in user generated content is bad language. Quite often it's young video creators that are the worst - they get overexcited when reviewing a toy or playing a video game and use bad language.

I think a system like this where they have to go through a set of questions would make them stop and think about whether their content is suitable for the intended audience.

As a parent I'd be quite happy to provide feedback on age suitability of videos as I encounter them.

Hopefully this is the first step towards being able to provide a more nuanced filtered version of YouTube that is suitable for kids. 

Source: The Observer

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