PM announces age rating trial for music videos

David Cameron has announced that online music videos will be given age ratings in order to protect children.

He unveiled a pilot scheme with the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) and YouTube which will rate videos if they are deemed to have inappropriate content.

The Prime Minister made the comments as part of a larger speech on Monday which focused on the family.


He said: “We shouldn’t see the internet as a lawless space where the normal rules of life don’t apply.

“Rules that apply offline should exist online. If you buy a music video offline there is an age restriction on it and the same should apply to the internet.”

The BBFC will be responsible for rating music videos in the pilot process.


Last year, the board held a consultation and found that there is widespread anxiety amidst parents about explicit content in music videos.

In January, the BBFC announced that: “The classification of a music video will take account of any elements which are of concern to parents, including glamorisation of behaviour which they consider inappropriate”.

Media reports suggest that the pilot scheme will begin in October when amendments to the Video Recording Act also come into place.


The BPI, which represents the recorded music industry in the UK, said: “Technical details are still being developed, but the scheme will see UK record labels voluntarily submit content” for the BBFC to classify “into 12, 15 or 18 age categories”.

A survey in November last year revealed that most parents fear sexually provocative pop stars such as Miley Cyrus and Rihanna are having a damaging effect on their children.

In a Netmums poll of 1,500 members, more than 80 per cent said their children had repeated sexually explicit lyrics and copied overtly sexual dance moves after being exposed to inappropriate pop music.

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