Advanced Television

Industry Trust, BBFC aid safe content search

August 8, 2013

By Colin Mann

The UK film, TV and video industry has joined forces with the British Board of Film Classification to launch a campaign to provide clarity for parents when it comes to accessing films, TV and video safely, legally and age-appropriately on the Internet.

The Industry Trust for IP Awareness, which represents the film, TV and video industry in the UK, has collaborated with the British Board of Film Classification as part of their ongoing commitment to educate consumers about the wealth of legal services for film, TV and video content.

This comes as new research commissioned to launch the campaign reveals the extent to which children and teens across the country are downloading or streaming films from illegal pirate websites, with many disturbed by what they are viewing.

One in five young film fans (18 per cent) admit they have been disturbed by the movies they have watched on pirate websites and two thirds (65 per cent) wish they had checked the film’s official age rating first.

While almost half of children and teens (42 per cent) admit to being aware of rules in place at home designed to restrict what they can and can’t look at on the internet, the research shows a quarter (25 per cent) download or stream movies from unofficial sources, which offer no guidance on age ratings.

The online study asked 1,000 UK 11-15-year-olds about their online viewing habits:

  • A third (37 per cent) of younger children aged 11-12 admit to having recently downloaded or streamed a film rated 15 from a pirate website
  • One in five 11-15 year olds (21 per cent) say they use pirate websites to keep up with what their friends and older siblings are watching

More than a quarter of 11-15 year olds (27 per cent) say their parents don’t know what films they are watching online, and a third (32 per cent) wouldn’t feel comfortable with younger siblings copying their viewing habits.

With nearly half (45 per cent) of 11-15 year olds spending up to one hour each day watching movies on the move via smartphones and tablets during the summer holidays, parents are being encouraged to take advantage of free tools and advice to help them take control of what their children are watching and to visit to find films safely and legally online.

The research is part of a national media campaign fronted by TV actress and mum of three Tina Hobley, the BBFC’s Head of Education, Lucy Brett, and the Director General of the Industry Trust for IP Awareness, Liz Bales.

Brett said there was a wealth of free digital tools and advice available for parents and children to take advantage of so they feel confident about their family accessing films safely and legally online. “, the easy-to-use gateway to legitimate film, now carries BBFC age ratings and BBFCinsight, so families know what they are accessing is not only from above board and safe sources, but that they have at their fingertips information which allows parents to make informed decisions about the right film choices for them and their families,” she advised. “BBFCinsight highlights the main issues found in a film then expands on this, giving examples of the sorts of things you will see or hear, which may include violence, bad language and sex references. Parents can use or the BBFC website and free BBFC App for smartphones for information about a film before they download or stream them. Having this information available all in one place and talking to your children about how films are rated can help them stay safe and legal online this summer.”

Hobley said that as a mum, she knew how excited her kids got at the thought of watching the movies they love during the holidays, but also how tough it was to keep tabs on what they are downloading or streaming online. “This research shows peer pressure is tempting kids to visit illegal websites for their film fixes even though they know these websites are off limits, and many are clearly upset by the content they stumble upon. Portable smartphones and tablet devices mean children and teens will often be watching films away from the safety of the front room this summer, which is why I’m urging parents to know how to access film and TV content online safely and legally, and check out the tools and help that are available.”

According to Bales, public concern around what children are watching online has never been higher, making age-appropriate guidance even more critical. “The film and TV industry believes education has a role to play. We provide tools to educate families around legitimate and age-appropriate source of film and enable parents and guardians to talk to their children to help them navigate the online landscape safely and legally,” she said.


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