EU lawmakers Propose Banning Under 16s From The Internet Without Parental Consent

Well this is, err, something, reports are circulating that under 16s could technically be banned from online services that include Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat unless they get permission from a parent. This quirk of fate if you will is all down to proposed new EU data protection rules which look set to be agreed.

So, how did we get to this? Well, new regulations would make it illegal for companies to handle data from anyone 15 years or younger without parental consent. These proposals open up a can of worms for various social media companies who have based their business models on targeting a younger audience with their products with hopes of an increased adoption of services.

The “ban” would leave millions of kids and teenagers having to ask their parents for permission to use internet services including email accounts, social media platforms and the downloading of apps. Somewhat understandably US tech groups are aiming to amend such a proposal through intense lobbying.

The proposal of new data protection regulations is much more stringent and companies must comply or face fines up to 4% of their global turnover, which could result in a massive bill for the biggest of online giants.

On the flip side, a petition has been launched by “The Diana Award Youth Boardwho state that “We don’t believe young people should be required to seek their parents’ consent every time they use a new app or website.”

It is certainly bizarre and impossible to police against, it will be compelling to see the outcome of these proposed regulations.

Image courtesy of mashable

Parents Will Be Reported by Head Teachers If Their Children Play GTA or COD

British parents are now in danger of being reported to the police and social services if they let their children play videos games not suited for their age, specifically mentioned, were games like Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto.

A letter sent by a group of schools in Cheshire raised concerns about the “levels of violence and sexual content” young people are being exposed to by playing games such as Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto which have a PEGI 18 classification. If teachers are made aware of children playing these games then they will contact police and social services.

The fear is that the games violent content could lead to children being left more vulnerable to grooming and abuse. The letter goes further than video games and also recommends that children don’t use Facebook or Whatsapp, but rather other social platforms geared for their generation and not adults.

The letter is clearly a result of the pressure put on teachers and social workers by David Camerons announcement that they could face up to five years in prison if they don’t speak out about suspicions of children that are being neglected or abused. Headteacher Mary Hennessy Jones, who helped draft the letter, told the Sunday Times: “We are trying to help parents to keep their children as safe as possible in this digital era.”

The message from Nantwich Education Partnership has however been criticised by parents as going too far by threatening parents rather than helping them. Margaret Morrissey, of Parents Outloud, told the newspaper: “Accepting the huge concerns about these violent games and their effect on children, I think the schools are stepping outside the realm of what is probably acceptable.”

Thanks to DailyMail for providing us with this information

Films And Their Ratings, Do You Know How They Work?

If you watch movies you know that they have a rating system, though you probably don’t know much about the system and how it works. Television shows and movies get rated by a group called MPAA, Motion Picture Association of America. MPAA is a United States based organization.

MPAA released their current version of the rating system in 1968, though it did not have PG-13 as a rating until 1984. The current ratings are:

  • G: General Audiences – All ages admitted, Nothing that would offend parents for viewing by children.

  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested – Parents urged to give “parental Guidance” May contain some material parents might not like for their young children.

  • PG13: Parents Strongly Cautioned – Parents are urged to be cautious. Some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers.

  • R: Restricted – Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.

  • NC-17: Clearly adult. Children are not admitted.

The United Kingdom has their own rating system for films, which is similar to the American version. Their organization is known as British Board of Film Classification or BBFC. With the knowledge provided hopefully everyone will easily be able to make a decision as to what types of films that are going to watch.

Some of you might be aware of the rating system, and how it works, but to others, they might be completely oblivious. I have found over the years that some people pay little to no attention to the things around them.

If we go over each rating, we will notice that depending on your type of parenting depends on if you will allow your children to watch a film. Also, depending on your views and opinions, this could also take into account the different types of films that you may be willing to watch.

One thing to remember with any film is that unless it is a documentary (docu) it is most likely entirely false! Movies are designed as a source of entertainment, over the years I have noticed how everyone has a different view of entertainment, and movies are a great example of that.

As parents are responsible viewers, it is important that we carefully check what we allow our children to watch, or even watch ourselves. Watching a film can greatly impact our way of thinking, as well as disgust or even horrify us. Personally, there isn’t much that I will not watch, though I have seen a ton of disturbing films.

To help you make your own decisions, you can read more about film ratings at www.mpaa.org, as well as find the rating of a film on www.filmratings.com. If you’re located in The United Kingdom, you can check out this website http://www.bbfc.co.uk/ which has more information on British ratings.

I hope that this has been informative for you, and helps you to better yourself and your viewing experience. I encourage you to think for yourself and not allow others to influence your decisions on what is appropriate and not appropriate to watch. Yes, some films are disturbing, gruesome and down right WRONG! Some people are able to handle viewing them, while others might share their lunch with everyone around them. The reality of it, is it is a form of entertainment.