BBFC and Netflix With New Age Rating System in UK
A new study in the UK showed that 80% of parents are worried that their children will see video-on-demand offers that are not suitable for them. In addition, there is also a clear majority that age ratings should be clear and well known across all systems – in the form of the well-known BBFC classifications.
Until now, there was no legal obligation for online services, but the BBFC has been working with online providers for years. From now on, Netflix and BBFC will work together. A pilot project has been launched.
However, the BBFC will not rate every video itself, as it does with Blu-rays and theatrical films, for example. Instead, Netflix will rate its own program based on a catalog provided by the Video Standards Council and the BBFC. An algorithm then spits out the correct age rating. The BBFC will only sporadically check the results of the Netflix raters. The BBFC hopes that soon 100% of the VOD providers will check their programs according to the BBFC guidelines.
Many of the functions of the current BBFC ratings for cinema and Blu-rays will also be used here. For example, in addition to the age information, additional information about the content (e.g. "drug abuse", "sex scenes", etc.) should be provided. VOD providers such as Netflix should also ensure that the consumer can filter the program according to age ratings.
The German FSK also pursues a very similar approach. It is working on a model of self-classification in which program providers are to develop the release on the basis of a dynamic form. It has yet to start.