Facebook and Google given BBFC '12' rating

BBFC ratings applied to the internet by UK ISP
BBFC ratings applied to the internet by UK ISP

An ISP is offering customers and concerned parents a new web-filtering system that uses the British Board of Film Classification's well-known age-ratings logos.

It is the first time that the BBFC has teamed up with an internet service provider – allowing parents to select the level of filter that they require - U, PG, 12, 15 or 18 – to ensure safe web surfing for their kids.

Parents simply select the filter level they require – and Tibboh (the ISP) does the rest, using filtering technology such as Netsweeper to classify websites accordingly.

Right now the service is only available as a 3G mobile dongle offering. Once customers have signed up then they can register various profiles for all the members of the family, according to their age.

The service costs £19.99 a month and has a 15 gigabyte data limit.

Facebook rated '12'

Social networks such asFacebook and Twitter and search engines such as Google and Bing are rated '12' by Tibboh.

"Search engines are great but at the "U" and "PG" level we found so many results and sponsored links that were inappropriate," Tibboh MD Phil Dawson told the BBC.

Tibboh claims its filtering tech has, to date, classified around three billion websites.

The company effectively licenses the BBFC's age-rating symbols, which it clearly feels is an ideal way of supporting the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS)'s "Zip It, Block It, Flag It" campaign.

Andrew Cooke, of BBFC online says: "We're delighted to be able to welcome tibboh as the first internet service provider to meet the BBFC online membership standards. We've been working very closely with tibboh and have helped them to develop bespoke criteria which match our standards.

"Parents often find themselves in the unenviable position of having to lay down the law in a digital universe they barely understand. Our classifications are understood and trusted by UK parents and they are based on our unique understanding of child development and parental expectations. Our research shows that 91% of parents want to see BBFC film and DVD classification on downloads or streaming films and other digital audiovisual content.*"

For more info on the new system head over to tibboh's own website (www.tibboh.co.uk).

Adam Hartley