Magazine article Screen International

BBFC: "Paradigm Shift in Relation to Online Classification"

Magazine article Screen International

BBFC: "Paradigm Shift in Relation to Online Classification"

Article excerpt

BBFC director says there is "a political shift" taking place in relation to classification of online content; 2013 sees small number of complaints.

BBFC director David Cooke has said there is a "paradigm shift" taking place in relation to the classification of online content.

While the Video Recordings Act currently doesn't apply to downloads, the number of online-only classifications rose by 40% last year.

Cooke, speaking at the launch of the BBFC annual report, said that there is currently "a paradigm shift" and "a political shift taking place in relation to [the classification of] online content...It is becoming clearer what our role is, and that both politicians and the public want us to play a role in online classification."

The number of companies using the BBFC's Watch & Rate service for online only content doubled, with 11 new platforms licensed to use BBFC ratings online, including Netflix, Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox, Sainsbury's, BA and Virgin Atlantic.

2012, the BBFC's centenary year, also saw the organisation achieve its goal of an amendment to the Video Recordings Act, meaning it will be able to scrutinise previously 'exempt video' content potentially harmful to children.

BBFC Director David Cooke said: "In 2012 the BBFC worked with both Government and the home entertainment industry to maximise the impact of our expertise in tracking public opinion and protecting children from potentially harmful content through both digital age ratings and informing the DCMS consultation on exempt videos."

The organisation also carried out research into the depictions of sexual and sadistic violence. …

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