Classifying Music Videos

Do you remember when the ratings on TV shows first came out? Back in 1970, a newly formed classification system named Australian Classification Board was established to rate all films, and later in 1994, all video games.

Back then it looked like this:

G for General Exhibition
NRC Not Recommended for Children (this later became PG)
M for Mature Audiences
R for Restricted Exhibition (this became R18+)

In 1993 they added the MA15+ rating, as they saw the need to screen the content that was too strong for the M rating.

The aim, back in the ‘70s (and to the present day) was to help consumers make choices about what they read, view or play. There are six classifiable elements for films: themes (rape, suicide, racism, etc.), violence (the level of violence and how threatening it is in its context), sex (intercourse and references to sex), language (the level of coarse language), drug use (the use of, and references to, drugs) and nudity (the explicitness of nudity).

The question, which is being asked, both here in Australia AND more publicly in the UK, is, when are the music videos, which are now viewed more and more online, (through social media avenues, youtube, etc), going to come under some governance and ratings? Other countries such as France and South Korea already have this classification set in place.

I tend to agree with the author, Paul Chai, of an article where he suggests, “The raunchy music vid is not a new plague out to wreak havoc on the younger generation but over the course of a few pop songs via YouTube it is almost numbing the amount of female grinding, juddering and pole caressing that is going on.” Having asked some of my older children and their friends, they seem to not even see this as an issue – evidence that they possibly have been numbed to what they have seen over their years?

In October, the UK’s Prime Minister is proposing that all music videos will be subject to a similar classification system as films and games have, in an attempt to protect children from ‘graphic content’.

Hoping that Australia too, can take note, and see that this generation of children are now not simply sitting in front of a TV screen, or a games screen, or going to the movies. But that these children are now of the ‘mobile’ generation – and their viewing is portable, and they are accessing a field of material that is, at this point, ‘out there and unregulated’.

Ultimately though, as with films on TV, we as parents are the BEST source of rating and boundary drawing, however, in this world of mobile technology, we cannot be everywhere, all the time!

PS. And DO check your ‘Safety Search’ on Youtube is ON – on a regular basis! I again found mine OFF for some crazy reason – and the clips that came up on my search – were certainly not ‘rated’ G!