After a successful experiment, Netflix will continue to use BBFC age ratings.

Following a successful trial, the streaming giant and the regulator will collaborate on a long-term basis.


The streaming service and the regulator stated that their long-term collaboration would continue.

Netflix became the first UK streaming service to have 100% of its material rated by the BBFC in November.

The platform’s ratings are determined by an algorithm.

During the testing period, Netflix employees manually tagged films and TV series for things like violence, sex scenes, and cursing.

This information was then entered into an algorithm created in partnership with the BBFC to generate an appropriate age rating.

Netflix uses BBFC criteria to classify content, which the regulator establishes based on its existing norms. Every month, the BBFC conducts a content assessment to ensure that the streamer maintains high standards of accuracy.

Other streaming providers were encouraged to follow Netflix’s path by the BBFC, which has historically issued ratings such as PG, 12, and 18.

‘Informed choices’

After the government announced a review into whether or not to increase the restrictions on age ratings for streaming services to bring them in line with traditional broadcasters, the long-term collaboration was revealed.

Networks such as the BBC, ITV, and Channel 4 are required to follow the Ofcom code, which addresses concerns such as injury, offense, accuracy, and impartiality. However, the majority of streaming platforms do not.

The government indicated in June that streaming services like Amazon Prime, Now, and Disney+ may face greater regulation in the future in the UK.

Caroline Dinenage, the minister for culture, commended Netflix and the BBFC’s continuous partnership, saying the government wanted parents and young people to be able to “make educated choices about what content is appropriate for them to view.”

“I am glad that the BBFC’s age ratings will continue to be utilized across Netflix’s content for years to come,” she said.

According to the BBFC, a great majority of British viewers support age ratings to assist them in selecting appropriate content for themselves and their families.

Netflix stated that it followed BBFC guidelines for films and television series, which the agency established based on large-scale public opinion research and rating auditing to ensure consistency.

To show audiences that the content corresponds to the existing BBFC standards, all films and TV shows on the platform now have a BBFC age rating, as well as a line of rating information.

David Austin, chief executive of the BBFC, said: “Parents have been very clear that they want and expect online content to carry the same age rating it would carry offline, in the cinema or on DVD.

“By ensuring that age categories reflect UK parental and child expectations on problems like sexual violence and drug use, BBFC ratings are crucial for child protection.”

Netflix’s head of ratings, Jessica Stansfield, stated that members are the company’s “number one priority,” adding, “We are happy to be the first and only streaming service to voluntarily carry BBFC age ratings on 100 percent of our collection.”

The announcement comes amid a heated discussion over the regulatory distinctions between traditional broadcasters and emerging streaming firms.

The broadcasting regulator Ofcom now has a statement on its website stating that “Netflix is based in the Netherlands and so not under Ofcom’s jurisdiction.”

Despite this, Netflix said in 2019 that it would work with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBFC) to issue accurate age ratings to its content.

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