April 22, 2010

ISP joins with BBFC to give websites content ratings

by Darren Allan

When video games became more graphically realistic and gory, they were given age ratings like films to ensure youngsters weren’t subjected to adult content.

Or that was the theory, anyway; not that many parents treated the ratings on games as seriously as they did with movies.

Now age classification ratings are moving on to the web, thanks to a new mobile broadband ISP in the UK.

The rather oddly named Tibboh has got together with the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) to slap 18 labels on sites containing content deemed unsuitable for anyone but adults.

Parents can select from U, PG, 12, 15 and 18 filters, which will ensure only age appropriate sites can be accessed by the user.

The filtering will be done in the cloud, so there’s no need for parents to worry about having to update the protection.

Apparently Tibboh employs technology such as Netsweeper content filtering to classify sites.

The ISP claims it has age-rated some three billion websites already, and is constantly updating its service (Tibboh has been available in schools for over a year).

Andrew Cooke, of BBFC Online said: “We’re delighted to be able to welcome Tibboh as the first internet service provider to meet the BBFC online membership standards. We’ve been working very closely with Tibboh and have helped them to develop bespoke criteria which match our standards.”

“Parents often find themselves in the unenviable position of having to lay down the law in a digital universe they barely understand. Our classifications are understood and trusted by UK parents and they are based on our unique understanding of child development and parental expectations.”

Interested? It’ll cost you £19.99 per month, but the downside is that it’s only available on 3G, not fixed line broadband.

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