BBFC Appointed Censorship Role Over Websites, Porn, Adult Content
(Last Updated On: October 15, 2016)

The British Board of Film Classification has been appointed arbiter over adult content viewed by U.K., citizens via the internet. This comes after the BBFC signed an agreement with the U.K., government for the 2016 Digital Economy Bill, where the appointment of arbitration was granted to the classification board.

The news was reported recently by Xbiz.com after the bill was weighed in on by the U.K., Parliament in a recent committee hearing that you can view over on the official Parliament website. The article explains that the BBFC will be monitoring local and foreign sites that may contain content for those 18 years of age and older, and will ensure that these sites have appropriate age gates for accessing said content.

BBFC director David Austin is excited about the organizations new role as an age-verification and content monitoring regulator, this role extends to websites containing adult content that may not be suitable for younger viewers, ranging from violence to sex to foul language. According to Xbiz…

“Austin said that the BBFC will methodically start focusing on the largest offending websites, including foreign ones, and notifying them for breaches in the U.K.’s mandatory age-verification laws.

 

“While it will be “extremely challenging to pursue foreign websites” not complying with U.K. law, Austin said that offending sites will face a notification process that may include the filing of sanctions against sites’ business partners, such as payment providers and others that supply ancillary services.”

This rule of regulation extends well beyond the U.K., and offending sites could be sanctioned by the BBFC that would result in them having their IP address blocked or being de-indexed from major search engines.

Jerry Barnett from the website Sex and Censorship explained that the bill is fairly wide-sweeping and could almost be used to censor whoever the BBFC doesn’t like, writing…

“In the current draft of the Bill, the definition of porn has been hugely extended from hardcore material to any sexual/nude/erotic material. The old regulations have been extended from covering just video to including still imagery and even audio.”

The first thing that comes to mind is what happens when websites host video of video or audio content for games like Criminal Girls or Valkyrie Drive Bhikkhuni? Will they be hit with sanctions?

According to an article on The Register from back onJuly 8th 2016, some U.K., politicians are interested in age-rating all websites, forcing them to adopt ratings just like films and TV. This would be extremely problematic given that content would determine a website’s rating, and as we all know some content can be very NSFW while other content is fairly harmless. It would be a real shame if certain websites reported on a controversial game, movie or event and went from being rated “PG” to “X” at the snap of the BBFC’s digital fingers.


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Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.