Age Ratings

December 27th, 2008 § 0 comments


The Culture Secretary is young and media-savvy; can he really believe that cyberspace is susceptible to top-down regulation from government? The notion of ratings for websites betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of how the internet works. Dubious, bizarre and revolting material can be accessed from virtually any computer screen in Britain, and teenagers are probably quicker at finding it than anyone else. Mr Burnham talks about “child-friendly web access”; in fact, this is readily available, but it needs parents or responsible adults to install and monitor the appropriate software.

At risk of sounding like a libertarian. It is your responsibility to ensure that your child is viewing only child friendly stuff on the internet. Just like it is your responsibility with regards to what your child watches on the telly. No ratings there is there?
More to the point, how is this going to be implemented? With registration of websites? What are the sanctions going to be if the age rating isn’t displayed? Are only websites that have an age rating going to be allowed through the government firewall? Doesn’t it sound a bit like what everyone is giving China shit for?

It. Isn’t. Going. To. Work.


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