Film-like ratings system coming for websites?

By on December 29, 2008, 1:14 PM
Describing the Internet as “quite a dangerous place,” the UK government is looking into implementing a content-based ratings system for English language websites, similar to those used for movies, and they are reaching out to the United States to get involved.

The plan was reported in an interview with the Telegraph of London on Friday, where British Minister of Culture Andy Burnham discussed a potential set of international rules for websites that would see them classified as G, PG, PG-13, and so on. In addition, Burnham also wants ISPs to offer services that only serve kid-friendly websites and talked about introducing industry-wide “take down times” to force sites with “harmful” content to be removed in a designated time period.

The idea, as absurd as it seems, isn't so much about outright censorship but making the Internet a safer place. However, there are a number of obstacles to the plan beyond a potential violation of free speech, such as actually reviewing and rating the billions of constantly changing websites and enforcing the new standard. That won’t stop governments from flirting with the idea, though.

User Comments: 6

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tw0rld said:
This move gets a big thumbs up from me. This is well overdue.
gobbybobby said:
So how will this work? will it make you put your date of birth in before getting on to the site (some all ready do) whats to stop some 13 year old just putting that they where born in 1950? the idea sounds stupid to me.
danthok said:
All this already exists, you just need responsible parents to govern what their kids can view. Another "problem" with the internet caused by lack of parental guidance. The internet was founded on free speech and the free sharing of data. If this passes it will not stop until the internet is regulated completely with bandwidth caps and all. Big thumbs down here, in case you couldn't tell.....
gamerguy53 said:
what the heck is this?I'm tired of constantly "being saved from myself" to hell with ratings
Rhodenator said:
I have wanted to see ratings since the inception of the Internet. I'm not asking for anyone to block sites, just force that they be rated. You may think your site is PG-13 and someone may think it's rated R, who cares. Like I said, I would like to see nothing blocked, just rated. Then you could install software onto your PC's or perhaps the router could block by ratings. That way my kids PC would be locked down to G or PG, to get past it, they have to get past me (or the system). I disagree that the ISP's should handle the content blocking unless they choose too.Ratings, please cometh!
oinari said:
This has potential to be very very good. It makes it easier for parents to monitor and control what they're children are seeing and doing on the internet. I'd like to be able to block sites at a certain rating via my web browser (Firefox) than have to do so site by site.I, however, don't agree with the takedown idea. Freedom of speech is freedom of speech, period. We don't need internet police, we need the ability to police our internet.
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