Explicit videos may be given 18 certificates
Plans on greater restrictions on raunchy music videos are to be looked at by David Cameron.
by Rune H. Rasmussen
In a recent article, The Telegraph reports that the Prime Minister may support the introduction of new rules that will require websites hosting videos that are inappropriate for children to introduce age verification systems similar to those used to safeguard children from online gambling.
Currently, there are no legal restrictions on downloading music videos, meaning that children are free to download music videos of any kind in a market where provocative and explicit videos are becoming increasingly commonplace. Furthermore, music videos are exempt from classification under the Video Recordings Act 1984 and 2010, meaning that there are no restrictions on children buying any but the most graphic music videos.
Bondage and sadomasochism
Last year, Ofcom warned that the “highly sexualized” video by R&B singer Rihanna for her song ‘S&M’ contained several scenes that “could have potentially dangerous consequences if imitated by children”, and that the video should not be aired before the watershed.
MTV and other television channels tone down sexual content before 9pm, however, this is not done on video-sharing websites. On the music video website Vevo, around 200 millions are watched each month, and there are no restrictions on Rihanna’s and other similar videos. YouTube, on the other hand, asks users to confirm that they are aged 18 before watching the video; still, the song ‘Skin’, another Rihanna song containing sexually explicit lyrics, can be watched uncensored on YouTube.
Related article: How to make YouTube safe for children
The Telegraph reports that the Prime Minister is understood to be “disappointed” with the music industry’s response to the Bailey report, which was commissioned by Downing Street and issued a warning of the greater “sexualisation of childhood”. According to the newspaper, Mr Cameron is to arrange a summit for leaders of the music video and social media world next month and make it clear that tough new laws may be passed if no measures are taken to protect children.
Amongst other things, the Bailey report stated:
“Concerns focused on sexual and violent nature of song lyrics; highly sexualised, verging on explicit, dance routines; and the stereotyped gender roles portrayed.
“Music videos were highlighted by some parents who responded to our call for evidence: they expressed concern that these videos were influencing their sons’ behaviour towards and perceptions of women in a negative way.”
Mr Bailey said: “Many of the industries mentioned in last year’s report have responded positively to our recommendations. I cannot say that has been the case with music videos.”
“Age ratings should be introduced for music videos. There is also a clear case for age-verification for such sites.”
Cameron gets tough on raunchy videos
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