After a successful trial collaboration with the BBFC, aka British Board of Film Classification, Netflix will provide an age rating on all its content.
Netflix was the first-ever UK streaming service that, in November 2020, has a 100% BBFC age rating on its content. These ratings are based on an algorithm rather than being randomised.
During the trial, Netflix staff used manual tags to provide warnings for sex, violence, swear words and more in all its films and series,
This data was then incorporated into the algorithm using BBFC’s technology in partnership with Netflix to understand and determine the appropriate age for viewing the content.
The content is audited by BBFC every month to make sure that the standards of accuracy are maintained. They have set ratings of PG, 12 and 18, which they are currently trying to encourage other platforms to follow, such as Netflix.
They have said that most British viewers have reacted positively to these age ratings that help them sift through content and pick the ones appropriate for themselves and their respective families.
All of Netflix’s films and TV shows carry the BBFC ratings that adhere to their fixed standards. Jessica Stansfield, the director of ratings at Netflix, expressed their pride at being able to be “the first and only streaming service to voluntarily carry BBFC age ratings on 100% of our catalogue.”
According to government regulations, streaming services such as Amazon Prime and Disney+ could receive stricter regulations as they do not usually comply with Ofcom. The institution’s code covers issues such as accuracy, impartiality, strong language, violence, and offence like ITV, Channel 4 and BBC.
The Culture Minister has waded into the announcement and spoke of how this was done to ensure that parents and young adults had the “informed choice” regarding viewing content.
She noted, “The BBFC’s age ratings are well trusted and widely recognised, which is why I am pleased that this long-term agreement will see their ratings continue to be used across Netflix’s content for years to come”.
According to the chief executive at BBFC, David Austin, “Parents have been very clear that they want and expect online content to carry the same age rating it would carry offline, in the cinema or on DVD.”
He added, “Crucially for child protection, BBFC ratings guarantee that age classifications reflect UK parental and child expectations on issues such as sexual violence and drug use.”