back to article Government embarks on futile mission to censor teen music vid viewing

The government and major UK music labels have agreed to make a pilot programme permanent. UK-produced music videos will now have an age rating. And that will definitely stop kids from watching, and definitely not cause them to rush off to see what the fuss is about. If, for instance, we told you that in the of 132 music videos …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thanks for the warning.

    So, now the government is making more children watch decapitation scenes. Great job, idiots.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "help parents to make informed choices"

    Parents have already made their "informed choice" by either educating their children or not.

    If they count on ratings to decide, then they have not educated their children.

    Educate your child properly and he will be able to decide for himself if what he is watching is worth it. But that requires a lot more effort than letting a bunch of people you don't know and have no control over decide what is good "for the children".

    In the end, this "effort" is moot anyway. Until you have a foolproof method for ensuring the age of the person using the browser, that is.

    1. Roger Greenwood

      Re: "help parents to make informed choices"

      " a foolproof method "

      Good luck with that then. Many kids have their 21st birthdays at school - all faked of course. I doubt future nippers will be any less savvy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "help parents to make informed choices"

        Fair point about not being able to reliably prove your age on-line but......

        Educating your children is of course the goal. However, they are still children so, especially the younger surfers, need to made to do the right thing. All my kids electronic kit is fairly locked down and despite the myth that kids can somehow crack anything they can't.

        That does leave the possibility that "friends" show them things and I know that happens from time to time but that's different to them looking at it every day whenever they want.

        I also tend to make them use electronic kit in "open" areas of the house so I can see what they're doing rather than let them sneak off to their bedrooms. I suppose most parents do the same.

        Obviously they get more access as they get older and each child is different but education on it's own is not enough.. at least at the beginning.

        I suppose it's the same with crossing roads. I educated the kids about looking for cars etc. but it was a little while longer before I left them to cross roads on their own.

        1. PassingStrange

          Re: "help parents to make informed choices"

          "I also tend to make them use electronic kit in "open" areas of the house so I can see what they're doing rather than let them sneak off to their bedrooms. I suppose most parents do the same."

          Not beyond a certain age. I think to a degree it may depend on the kids, but when mine were younger (they're all adults now) I took the attitude that openness and trust was a better strategy - treating them as adults to just as much a degree as they could cope with. We were all kids; we all know that, if you try and lock kids down, they'll just find a way of seeing or doing what they want to anyway, and most of the time you won't even know it. Whereas if you foster an attitude of trust, you not only hear about far more of it, but you get the chance to feed any concerns and thoughts into the discussion, and have your opinions considered and respected. I knew, for example, when my 15 year-old son was watching 18-rated films round at a particular friend's house, and what they were. We talked, I was happy with his attitude, end of story. If I hadn't been, we'd have found a way to sort things. Worked pretty well for me, anyway - I'm proud of the way they all turned out. (Although my daughter once told me that the most frustrating thing about me was that I never gave her anything to rebel against. Parental Judo. I took that as a compliment.)

        2. Mad Mike

          Re: "help parents to make informed choices"


          "All my kids electronic kit is fairly locked down and despite the myth that kids can somehow crack anything they can't."

          No problems with you trying to control what they see, but they will get round it. Might take a while, but no system is foolproof. Nothing wrong with making it hard for them, but don't think they won't sometime get round it.

          "I also tend to make them use electronic kit in "open" areas of the house so I can see what they're doing rather than let them sneak off to their bedrooms. I suppose most parents do the same."

          A very sensible move, but I suspect you're amongst the minority. I'd be pretty sure most parents don't do the same.

  3. Naughtyhorse


    Imma letchu finish but....

    Some bands on some sites in some locations will now show a splash screen.

    Raising recent government internet policy to a totally new level of futility.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "On YouTube, when record labels upload a UK-produced music video rated 18 by the BBFC, they are able to age-gate access to users signed in as over 18."

    So the kids will just sign up as over-18. Then the Government will insist you have to use a credit card for identification for over-18. Which doesn't do anything about the presumed lower age categories of 15 and 12. Adults without a suitable card will be locked out - the kids will just purloin a parent's details as no charge is being registered. So the Government imposes a per-view tax on watching YouTube to ensure such covert use is made visible to the card holder?.

    What will my local barber do? The place is plastered with TV screens for customers - showing either sport or music video channels. Will they have to switch channels if anyone in the shop is under-18?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      They don't even need to do that, I imagine most people who know how to furtle the YouTube URL to get round sign in/geo restrictions are aged under 18.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      do you really think that will happen? there so many problems credit card for identification for any site that not a porn site it will never happen

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rated 18+

    Means - aimed at under 18s, eagerly sought out by under 12s, of no interest at all to over 18s.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      Re: Rated 18+

      "Why a four year old child could understand this.

      Run out and get me a four year old child,

      I can't make head or tail out of it."

      Groucho Marx - Duck Soup.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Rated 18+

        Politician 1: Think of the children

        Politician 2: Oh, I am ... I am ...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On google it has a lower age limit so how exactly do I set up an account for say a 6 year old on their tablet that has age restrictions in built because of their age?

    Yes I know you can log in as an adult and set parental control but I'm thinking more along the lines of the masses. I'm a responsible parent and I know tech but how many don't. This however makes no difference whatsoever, it's a nice to have but really it changes nothing unless you have simple systems in place that can be properly enforced.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I don't let my six year old use the computer and to be honest he's not that interested anyway. However, when he does start it will be with me keeping an eye on what he's doing, unless I turn off the internet connection and he can only run certain programs.

      I really don't think there's an advantage to letting kids have early access to computers, tablets, phones etc. Quite the opposite according to most psychologists.

      Either way it doesn't seem to be a problem that technology alone can solve.

  7. Mike Bell

    Inappropriate Content

    By that, I mean the residents of Number 10.

  8. Andrew Jones 2

    And presumably the independent artists that are being encouraged to provide their music videos to gain a rating are being offered this service completely free of charge? No.... I somehow doubt it will be..... It looks like it will probably cost £22 for the submission + £2.75 per minute which will be rounded up to 5 minutes if the submission is shorter.

  9. Anonymous Cowherder

    Won't somebody think of the parents???

    We need a Helen Lovejoy icon!

    This is Daily Heil writ into policy. If parents don't want their kids seeing the videos then manage their device usage properly. Don't expect technology companies to police what is and isn't acceptable this is a function of parenting and your responsibility.

    1. Robert Grant

      Re: Won't somebody think of the parents???

      This is stupid - parents have their own jobs and areas of expertise. Just because this site has lots of tech-savvy people on it, it's not automatically okay to foist lots of extra requirements on parents. You and I grew up in an age where the advice needed was basically "Don't talk to strangers when you're out, or let them in the house", "If the phone call isn't from someone you know, then get us and we'll talk to them." and "Don't watch stuff that's rated $whatever, or after 9 o'clock without us knowing."

      And we were enough of a handfull even with that. Saying that parents now need to be all over internet, phone and tablets, and you think they shouldn't have any content guidelines, is plain absurd. This may not be 100% perfect, but it's needed by anyone who thinks that parents shouldn't have to work in IT to get the right to parent their kids the way they think is best.

      1. Mad Mike

        Re: Won't somebody think of the parents???

        @Robert Grant.

        Of course, parents could simply ban the use of equipment they don't understand or properly configure etc. They won't because of the noise the kids will make and many can't be bothered.

        Let's look at another scenario. When your kids want to learn to drive, those parents who think they can, might try and teach them. Those who don't want to, don't believe they can, hire someone else. Many probably do a combination of both.

        So, if you want to use technology, by the same logic, shouldn't you either employ someone to set it up appropriately etc., or if you feel able, do it yourself?

        The whole point with the internet and technology in general, is that the kids are normally better at it than the parents. Also, the technology itself doesn't aid identification of the user. So, you get a double whammy. Giving the information to the parent is of little value if the kid through a few keystrokes can bypass any security the parent puts on. The technology pretty much ensures the websites can't do anything as they have no way of knowing who the user is. Also, what a few censors think is suitable or not rarely matches with what people think. Just look at what children wear these days. Some look like they're in the 50's or 60's, whilst others wander around looking like prostitutes. Who says what's right and what's wrong?

        In the end, this is all about parental responsibility and some (decide for yourself how many) want the government and other bodies to do their parenting job for them. So, they encourage government etc. to take over the job. This is particularly common amongst a certain set of middle classers (to use an old term), who generally read the Daily Mail, which seems hell bent on introducing more and more government interferance to stop their readers from actually performing any parenting at all.......

        1. Robert Grant

          Re: Won't somebody think of the parents???

          If you want parents to watch everything in full before their kids do (unlike with films, where there's at least a guideline), then that's fine, as long as at least one parent stays at home to keep up. Or, don't moan about a classification that doesn't have any role other than helping parents avoid obvious stuff their kids shouldn't watch (if the parents agree with the classification levels). So if you're 12 and your parents don't mind you watching 15s, then they can exercise that choice, but still stop you from seeing 18s. I honestly don't know why you think that sort of thing is bad.

          As for your alternative to an unenforced classification system, which is that parents shouldn't let their kids use a computer growing up, as they probably can't configure it properly, then we're going to have a lot of IT-illiterate 18-year-olds. How you can think that a blanket ban on technology is better than a classification system is beyond me.

          Finally, and more generally, can we cut out the moronic "if things are given a classification then parents aren't being responsible for their kids" nonsense. Parents can let their kids do anything or restrict stuff with or without a classification. It doesn't change anything, and anyone saying it does is just arguing by excluding the jaw-droppingly obvious middle (you can use classifications and be responsible for everything your child does).

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Won't somebody think of the parents???

            You didn't read what the Baroness said:

            "Movies in the cinema and music DVDs are age rated to inform the viewer and help parents to make informed choices..."

            To me, this says that no theatre should be forced to prevent 12 year olds from watching 50 Shades of Grey, or from buying Grand Theft Auto IV.

            Or did she mis-state something.

      2. Probie

        Re: Won't somebody think of the parents???

        Realistically, scanning or searching the app stores for "parental control apps" is stupidly easy and that alone removes 95% of the nanny state/ Daily Mail arguments.

        I have no expectation of someone else being responsible for my children, none, nada, zip bupkiss, Sweet FA, in the end the are MY kids,so I accept responsibility for them and that includes EVERYTHING they do.

      3. Mark 85

        @Robert Grant -- Re: Won't somebody think of the parents???

        Sorry, but if you believe that parents should not be responsible for their children's well-being then you deserve whatever they turn out to be. It's not the schools, the governments, the internet, or anyone else's responsibility. It's the parents job. When a kid grows up and turns out well, it's usually the parents. When the kid doesn't, it's also the parent. Outsiders can only influence so much.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My daughter installed software for a VPN service on her computer a long while back. I still have not got around to putting one on mine.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I was recently informed (true or not, I don't know but sound legit)... that most music videos now are funded by the product placing advertisers... every video has the latest phone/toy/gadget that someone wants you to buy.... so assuming everyone abides by the ratings (the ideal scenario that politicians plan in), then sooner or later less young impressionable eyes will be hitting these adverts... so they will enforce the PG videos?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Teens and music videos?

    This sort of age limit move will only ever work when the media and celebrity industries stop pimping under-age girls to the extent that the proverbial countdown timer isn't necessary.

    How can you insist that the viewer is 18+ when the video in question has a bunch of highly inappropriate under-18s in it?

    For the nitpickers, 18 or whatever age counts as the marker for "no longer jailbait, somewhere between 'promising starlet' and 'all grown up', hold on for another few seconds and you won't be castigated in the tabloids as paedo scum because it's nearly midnight". Remember that those recent 18th birthday invitations with the boobs printed on them are de facto child porn because obviously they were done before the 18th birthday in question and you are supposed to be looking at the boobs in that way and if you do you are in the same legal category as a paedo for doing it, hope that's clear.

    That went somewhere a bit off topic, sorry. Anon because it's a big industry to be pointing at and the Klan (fat-arsed, not white- robed) have a lot of devoted followers.

    1. Probie

      Re: Teens and music videos?

      Age of consent in the UK is not 18, it is lower.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Teens and music videos?

        @ Probie "Age of consent in the UK is not 18, it is lower."

        The A/C poster was commenting on pictures of under-18s - not their eligibility for legal sex.

        The Sexual Offences Act 2003 classes pictures of 16/17 year olds in the same category as under-16s. IIRC it is a picture of someone who is, or looks, under-18. That was a change from the previous law which allowed 16/17 to be less censored. That was why the Sun had to stop using 16 year olds on Page 3 after 2003.

        The banned material includes not only nudity - but clothed poses that can be deemed "provocative". A judge has put a restriction on a "sex" club's licence - that they are not allowed to use posters, or perform(?), where clothes could be construed as under-18. eg think St Trinians.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Teens and music videos?

        So you can buy porn in the UK before you turn 18?

        Here in the US (Georgia), the age to: buy cigarettes is 21; buy alcohol is 21; have sex is 16; buy porn is 18.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Teens and music videos?

          >So you can buy porn in the UK before you turn 18?

          No, you can get married at 16 but you have to keep your eyes closed during sex until she turns 18

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Teens and music videos?

            "[...] you can get married at 16 but you have to keep your eyes closed during sex [...]"

            IIRC the law that criminalises sexting of under-18s has a specific exemption if they are a married couple. Not sure if that is true in all the British jurisdictions though.

  13. JimmyPage Silver badge

    Wow. Another chance for Geo-IP lookups to fail

    and VPNs to prosper.

    In fact if we combine this news story with another today - that VPN usage is required to avoid the immortal cookie monster, you have two drivers to progress pulling in opposite directions.

    Anyone remember a pushme-pullme from Dr. Doolittle. ? The irony being Do Little would be the best thing the UK government could do about a lot of things.

    Whatever happened to the push for more Reg icons ? "Fail" seems a little weak. "Facepalm" to obvious. "Morons" would be more suited .....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wow. Another chance for Geo-IP lookups to fail

      Wasn't it a pushme-pullyou?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Live Performances

    Does one now have to be 18+ to attend live gigs? 'Cos certain performers have built their 'reputation' based on very, er, raunchy displays.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Push pineapple, shake the tree ...

    Accidentally watching the Top Of The Pops video for Black Lace's Agadoo in 1984 has certainly had a lasting and severely detrimental effect on my psyche so I wholeheartedly approve of this move!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I blame

    sex out of wedlock.

    What we need are more Christian bands!

    I was walking in town yesterday and happened upon some work being done on the pavement. There was a sign to divert pedestrians around it. What, so now those perverts get preferential treatment??!? This society has been going to hell since they ended conscription.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: I blame

      Ah the good old days, when BBC Radio DJs would ban records because the band was gay and then go out and rape kids.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only British record companies affected

    A Daily Telegraph article illustrates the videos that will not be age rated - as they originate from the USA arms of the big name companies. They are typically the ones which have sparked the whole controversy like the Miley Cyrus wrecking ball.

  18. earl grey

    Yeah, girl drummer!

    Wait, what were you going on about?

  19. A Nonny Moose

    "this probably shows that 40 per cent of modern teenagers are just a bit soft."

    Or, more likely, this probably shows that 40 per cent of modern teenagers parents couldn't give two shits about what their bastard hell-spawn are up to

  20. Trigonoceps occipitalis

    " ... 60 per cent of children aged 10 to 17 are watching music videos that they do not think their parents would approve of."

    Isn't that sort of the point of being a teenager?

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