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Netflix partners with BBFC to create algorithm for age rating content

Netflix and the British Board of Film Certification (BBFC) have developed an algorithm that has automatically generated age ratings across the SVOD’s entire content library in the UK.

The regulatory body said that Netflix had become the first streaming service in the UK to carry a certified age rating on all TV seasons and feature films.

Over the course of two years, the algorithm scanned more than 10,00 films, documentaries and programmes and assigned them a rating of U, PG, 12A, 15 or 18 label.

David Austin, CEO of the BBFC, praised the move and urged other streamers to follow suit in tagging their content in accordance with its ratings. He said: “With people spending increasing amounts of time online, it’s more important than ever for families to have clear, consistent advice on content so they can choose well. This innovative partnership with one of the biggest services in the UK has allowed us to do just that – and we’re delighted that Netflix’s entire UK catalogue now carries BBFC age ratings, which people know and trust. No matter what families choose to watch, they can watch with confidence.”

Jessica Stansfield, director of ratings policy and compliance at Netflix, said: “We wanted our members to see the same trusted age ratings on our service as they recognise from cinema and DVD – to simplify the process of choosing content, however they watch. We’ve been working closely with the BBFC for nearly a decade now, and we’re excited that our partnership has moved to the next level.

“BBFC age ratings are trusted in the UK, and together we’re now providing our members with the information they need. Our continuing partnership with the BBFC allows us to ensure our members always press play on content that is right for them and their families.”

The move also coincides with the introduction of greater parental controls on Netflix. These new features include pin protection on individual profiles, the ability to personalise the profiles based on BBFC ratings, the ability to remove individual series by title, and a feature for parents to review what their children have been watching.

Caroline Dinenage, minister of state for Digital and Culture, said: “This government is committed to ensuring new technology is safe for everyone to enjoy and we are keen to see online platforms doing all they can to protect children.

“Putting the BBFC’s trusted ratings on all shows and films on Netflix will help parents and young people make the right choices to avoid age-inappropriate content. I welcome this partnership and urge more streaming services to take similar steps.”

Tags: BBFC, Netflix