In further proof that he has absolutely no understanding of how the internet works, UK prime minister David Cameron has announced that music videos on YouTube and other websites will be given age ratings from October to stop children seeing “graphic content”.
Cameron said that new filters will replicate rules that exist offline for media such as film and DVD by using existing age restrictions.
Record labels will submit music videos to the British Board of Film Classification to be categorised into 12, 15 or 18 age ratings.
The ratings would be included in video codes so that YouTube, Vevo and other video sites could offer a filtering service, based on the ratings, that would allow parents to block content from their children.
Cameron said: “Helping families with children and parenting shouldn’t stop at childbirth. To take just one example – bringing up children in an internet age, you are endlessly worried about what they are going to find online. So we’ve taken a big stand on protecting our children online.”
So far, only three of the major UK record labels – Sony, Warner and Universal – have signed up to the scheme, alongside YouTube and Vevo.
The BPI, which represents the British recorded music industry, said that it agreed with the government that content was made available to the public “in a responsible way”.
“The BPI and its members are therefore working with the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), Digital Service Providers (DSPs) and with the support of government on a pilot scheme that will trial age ratings for music videos released online through the UK,” it said.
All well and good … but has David Cameron not yet realised that the internet is global, and such “filters” are easy enough for the average six-year-old to get around via a proxy?