24 February 2008

UK - Online content providers sign up to code of conduct to protect children

Media companies including the BBC, Channel 4, Google, Yahoo and social-networking site Bebo have signed up to a new code of conduct, designed to give parents more information about the suitability for children of audiovisual content available on the internet and mobile phones. The new content information guidelines have been developed by industry and the government's independent advisory body the Broadband Stakeholder Group, backed by regulator Ofcom. For the first time, they extend the existing principles of broadcast consumer guidance across the wider new media industry. The guidelines do not cover user-generated content such as that found on YouTube or adverts. Instead, they call for all commercially generated content available online or on mobile phones to be flagged if it is unsuitable for particular age groups or contains content that may harm or offend. See Good Practice Principles on Audiovisual Content Information.