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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Content rating most often means the suitability-to-audience of TV broadcasts, movies, comic books, or computer games.

The introduction of Internet to the global population has revolutionized the way of consuming and gaining access to the virtually unlimited variety of contents. While there is a lot of healthy and useful information on the Internet, there are some materials which may be potentially harmful to young people.

Online community consists of not only children, but readers/viewers with varying ages, backgrounds and preferences. Therefore, relevant sectors such as the Internet service providers and content providers, have a huge responsibility in carrying out appropriate Content Rating Systems , to protect the rights on adequate information for all users equally.

Background

Many different rating systems exist. For example, TV Ratings and Advisories, Star Ratings, and various rating systems used in various countries. Some rating systems are more specific than others are. While many finds existing rating systems useful, some users find many of them to be quite vague. The kind of content-summarizing information that one user would find useful might be considered less useful by another. Unfortunately, these users often have little or no ability to change or influence either existing rating systems or ratings that are associated with specified content.

In this respect, it is very important that Content providers choose a transparent and most standardized way of labeling their site content and associating it with adequate CRA filters to allow or disallow access to particular items. It also implies an objective information declared in the label and the subjective preferences of the users concerned.

What is CRS and how it works

Ratings are designed to give users some summarized understanding of the content that they are about to access. At the same time it provides new liberty to content providers to express themselves without taking a responsibility of the scope of their audience. By applying an adequate CRS filter, users may enjoy only the appropriate content, and be spared of any related inconveniences.

Quality Content Rating System (CRS) implementation should accomplish three major goals:

   * To protect children on the Internet
   * To protect freedom of expression on the Internet
   * To set up a hotline to handle complaints about obscene and indecent content on the internet

The reasons for a rating being associated with a particular content might not be readily apparent from the rating itself, since there may be any of a number of reasons for it like for example:

   * The nature of the language used
   * Graphic violence being presented in the text or media files
   * Certain types of "explicit sexual content" being exposed

Internet is interactive tool, with a lot of content provided by users through online forms and upload procedures. Internet sites that provides interactive services bears huge responsibility of adequate content moderation. If moderators think that an item is inappropriately rated as defined by the established guidelines, they should adjust the rating accordingly. Also, documented procedures should be applied whenever CRS restrictions are being breached, with exact set of measures toward a non obeying users.

On other hand, CRS must not be a tool for censoring or influencing the public view on regularly provided content.

Examples of CRS implementation

See also:

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