Tuesday 29 October 2019 12:01 am

British film board rolls out new age ratings for Netflix films and TV shows

The UK film regulator will this week roll out a series of new age rating symbols designed for online streaming platforms.

The digital classification symbols, which will launch on Netflix from Thursday, are designed to help young people make more conscious choices about what they watch online.

Read more: Netflix to set its own age ratings in new partnership with BBFC

The ratings system matches the one currently used in cinemas, with shows and films receiving a tag ranging from Universal to 18.


The move comes as part of a wider partnership between Netflix and the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC).

Earlier this year the BBFC granted the streaming giant powers to set its own UK age ratings using an automated rating algorithm.

Netflix will classify material using the regulator’s guidelines, with the aim of applying ratings to all content on its platform.

“We want all young people to be empowered and confident in their film and TV choices,” said David Austin, BBFC chief executive.

“As the landscape of viewing content changes, so do we. We’re proud to be launching digital symbols for a digital audience, to help them choose content well.”

Earlier this year Netflix was forced to cut a controversial scene from its teen drama 13 Reasons Why after mental health groups accused it of “sensationalising” suicide.

Read more: Netflix to sell a further $2bn in bonds as it builds up war chest


The firm defended the show, saying it had encouraged young people to talk about difficult issues, but decided to remove the scene after taking advice from medical experts.

The BBFC has called on streaming services to clearly label content with age ratings, and has launched its first set of guidelines for video on-demand platforms.

Main image credit: Getty

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