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Family-friendliness: Wikis


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Entertainment or information is called "family friendly" if it is considered suitable for all members of the average family. In particular it means that it is not considered inappropriate for children, which may imply restrictions on engagement in, or depiction of, nudity, sex, violence, horror, crude language, etc.

The concept of "family friendly" entertainment or information, or of the media carrying them being so, is an aspect of the family values controversy in American political and social discourse. The moral connotations the concept and terms are used with varies greatly with speaker, and a single speaker may often use them differently privately and publicly.

In arriving at specific consumer decisions, moral connotations of the terms may be secondary or absent, and the denotation may be mainly distinctions relevant to making a product suitable for use within a family. Such characteristics of a product are likely to mean that the product is easy to use and retains the existing 'power structure' of a family, or more specifically that the parent retains overall control of the product or system. Other characterisics that are synonymous with the term 'family friendly' might include a product being safe, simple, easy to use and robust.

In public discussions it is most common for those using the terms and concept to give them positive connotation, suggesting at least that what the speaker labels "family friendly" is desirable, and often suggesting that what the speaker so labels is either in less adequate supply than what is not, more desirable than what is not, or desirable to the exclusion of desirability or toleration of what is not.

Also in public discussions, some with opposing views contest those connotations. Some of them may simply avoid the terms on the belief they misname the concept, so that the terminology raises questions of free expression, access to information, and distinguishing personal judgements on values from condemnations of others' values. Some in effect give unqualified use of "family friendly" a negative connotation by describing their own views as "real family friendliness", contrasting their own views with "family unfriendly" ones (in ways that imply those are held by advocates of something "family friendly"), or simply ironic intonation in using the words "family friendly". What is excluded by the term "family friendly" is not a matter of agreement among those who emphasize its use, so some describe the lack of clear denotation of the terms as helping a user appear consistent in their own statements and those of others, while intending different audiences or individuals in the same audience to infer mutually inconsistent implicit meanings from them.

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