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British Culture Secretary Wants Websites to Be Rated Like Movies

What If Websites Were Rated Like Movies?

What if you went to a website and a rating popped up, telling you it was PG-13? That's the suggestion of British Culture Secretary Andy Burnham, who thinks that "film-style ratings" for websites is a good idea.

Whether it would work or not, I think it's a logical conclusion to come to, since even video games are given ratings these days. Of course, the big questions would have to be worked out — How would it be decided? How would it be enforced? And whose responsibility would it fall under? The little questions abound too — what about personal blogs and individual social networking pages?

I could see this being a relief to parents who are eager to shield their children from all that can be found on the Internet, but I could also see it as a big hassle for those of us who are of age, if we're talking age verifications.

What do you think?

givecoup givecoup 8 years
I agree with tidalwave and other comments re: sheer number of internet sites. Besides which you'd have to work with the owners, domain hosts to put those labels on the website. Who would do the ratings, would it be as restricted as the MPAA, etc.? I don't agree with the current movie ratings as it is, and I would rather be the one to monitor where my children go on the internet. I feel like some parents may just use these ratings as a default and wouldn't do more monitoring as needed.
Manoukia Manoukia 8 years
The parents should be the ones who should make sure what their kids are up to, be it on the internet or in real life. Unfortunately, many don't really care because bringing up kids responsibly, so they don't terrorize the neighborhood, bully friends etc, is a lot of work. It requires parents to talk, to take a stand, even to say no.
JaeB JaeB 8 years
I think it's fine if it's voluntary. Some websites, especially personal blogs and journals, already do this voluntarily. It's just an extra tip to parents, however. If the parent doesn't check the site in advance, or isn't present, they don't know about the site content and the kid just clicks "Yes, I am at least [age]." :P Duh. So I think the enforcement cannot get any stricter than that, and it's up to parents to either be present or set their online parental controls like they would on their TV...etc. But, you know, my parents trust my sister and I with our internet usage and, yeah, we saw some things, lol, but we turned out just fine! I'm not really a fan of restricted internet access. The internet is a good place to learn things and learn to exercise self-restraint. The only thing that really concerns me is online predators, because obviously some kids do not know better than to associate with questionable individuals, and are not looked out for by other adults, so something more needs to be done to protect those kids. But such an action would be more chat room / forum / instant message / e-mail specific.
gbychan gbychan 8 years
As long as they were suggestions (like TV show ratings) rather than legally binding (like booze and firearms restrictions), then I don't think censorship would be a problem. One definite benefit: Sites would be blocked by parental control software because of an independent evaluation of its entire contents rather than the mere fact that a certain word (like "breast") appears somewhere on it. Big improvement there!
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
Would they do this to the top 100 or so? This is an issue for parents, not for the ISP's or government.
kia kia 8 years
I don't think rating them will do a bit of good right now. I agree with starangel82 about the sheer number of sites on the web and wonder how this could possibly be enforced.
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
I think the enforcement of it would prove to be way too big. There are how many websites on the web?
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
I think this would way too easily become a form of censorship.
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