YouTube music videos will soon carry age restrictions in the UK

Saqib Shah
August 18, 2014

UK Prime Minister David Cameron wants the UK to crackdown on online music videos, starting with YouTube content.

A pilot scheme to place age restrictions on music videos will begin in October.

The British Board of Classification will work alongside YouTube and music video service Vevo to ensure that children are protected from “graphic content”, according to David Cameron.

Stating that the Internet should not operate outside the rules applied to society as a whole, Cameron claims that under the scheme rules for online videos will be brought in line with those applied to offline material.

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.”

Rihanna's 'Pour it Up' video was set to private minutes after being released on YouTube

Rihanna’s controversial ‘Pour it Up’ video was set to private minutes after being released on YouTube

It is thought that the age-ratings will be similar to the restrictions applied to films by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC).

It is worth noting that both the BBFC and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) constantly come under fire for their loophole-ridden ratings system. A recent case in point being the leniency shown toward violent films that depict bloodless killings in order to avoid an R rating (15 in the UK).

This being the Internet, however, it may just be a case of a user entering their date of birth before proceeding to view an “adult” music video. YouTube could additionally try to match a user’s DOB with their account details, for further protection.

The PM also stated that he bans his own children from viewing videos he deems inappropriate.

“As for my own children I am sure there are times when they have been disappointed because they haven’t been able to do something or see something,” said Cameron.

But that is part of what being a parent is about ‘ being able to deploy the use of the word no and sometimes even to deploy the off switch on the television, unpopular as that can sometimes be, and sometimes ineffectual because they find another screen somewhere to switch on.”

About the Author

Saqib Shah

Tech/gaming journalist for What Mobile magazine and website. Interests include film, digital media and foreign affairs.

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