Age ratings for websites being discussed

The BBFC ratings - coming to websites? Nope
The BBFC ratings - coming to websites? Nope

UK Culture Secretary Andy Burnham has stated that the government is considering applying film-style ratings to websites.

In a move that will inevitably cause no end of practical problems throughout the country, Burnham has admitted that he will open talks with the US government on potentially rating the web

"The internet is becoming a more and more pervasive entity in all our lives and yet the content standards online are not as clear as we've all been used in traditional media," Burnham told the BBC

"I think we do need to have a debate now about clearer signposting and labelling online because it can be quite a confusing world, particularly for parents who are trying to ensure their children are only accessing appropriate stuff.

Clearer signposting

"It's not about banning or stopping people having that freedom of expression," he said. "It's simply about clearer signposting, more information, so people know where they're working."

Of course, the practicalities of governing the web are something that have been discussed ad infinitum since it became obvious that the internet was going to flourish globally.

However, despite a whole host of voluntary measures that sites that are unsuitable for children can take, the nature of the web means that people can quickly set up websites to host whatever content they want.

Rating websites would be an immensely expensive and, in all honesty, almost impossible task, but the governments of both the UK and US need to be seen to be taking a stand.

Even if there is no practical solution to the problem.

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.