Morality in Media (now calling itself The National Center on Sexual Exploitation), Utah State Senator Todd Weiler, Protect Young Eyes, child advocate Melissa McKay, and other organizations, are calling for an official censor to oversee age
ratings for apps. The groups claim that the present system of self rating by developers is often misleading, inconsistent across platforms, and does not appropriately warn parents of the potential dangers found in apps. Dawn Hawkins, Executive
Director at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation said:
Parents are empowered with rating information to keep kids out of R-rated films, but when it comes to apps, parents are left in the dark about the kind of content their children are accessing. Apps such as Instagram, Facebook, and GroupMe need
to be more transparent with families about the risks associated with their platforms, particularly regarding grooming for child sexual abuse and sex trafficking.
The moralists are calling for the following:
The creation of an independent app ratings board. This board would have powers similar to the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) and MPAA for movies, which use a rating system that is clearly understood, enforced, trustworthy, and
exists to protect the innocence of minors.
The release of intuitive parental controls on iOS, Android, and Chrome operating systems. These controls should at a minimum include default settings based on a child's age, easy set-up, and one-touch screen time controls (e.g., school and
bedtime selective app shut-off).
Supporters believe that if these two steps are done properly, parents would have what they need to make informed decisions about the appropriateness of the digital places where their kids spend time.
The Parents Television Council have reported that the FCC is required to review the TV content ratings system and report on the effectiveness of the system within 90 days, as per the Appropriations Bill of 2019. Specifically, the Conference
Committee Report says:
Oversight Monitoring and Rating System.-In lieu of Senate report language on oversight monitoring and rating system, the FCC is directed to report to the Committees on Appropriations of the House and Senate within 90 days of enactment of this
Act on the extent to which the rating system matches the video content that is being shown and the ability of the TV Parental Guidelines Oversight Monitoring Board to address public concerns.
PTC President Tim Winter said:
Finally, after more than 20 years, Congress is addressing the needs of families and the welfare of children by formally calling for the first-ever regulatory review of the TV Content Ratings System and its ostensible oversight. We are elated
that this important legislative wording was adopted as part of the appropriations bill that funds the federal government for this fiscal year.
Toy Story 4 is a 2019 USA family animation comedy by Josh Cooley.
Starring Keanu Reeves, Patricia Arquette and Tom Hanks.
When a new toy called "Forky" joins Woody and the gang, a road trip alongside old and new friends reveals how big the world can be for a toy.
Animal rights campaigners PETA have launched an ad campaign this week, demanding that animators Pixar edit out a sheep-herding crook from the new Toy Story film, ludicrously claiming that the object promotes animal cruelty.
Activists at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) saw the crook as a betrayal of Pixar's attempt to give the character a tough modern update, claiming that the sheep-herding instrument she carries is still problematic.
Their problem is apparently not that they think the crook itself is a cruel instrument, but the fact that it promotes exploiting gentle sheep for their wool.
It is surely doubtful that most kids will even know what the old-time shepherd's tool is in the first place.
Netflix has hundreds of TV shows and movies to choose from. That selection also includes many titles that contain extreme graphic sexual content, requiring no automatic barrier to access them.
Furthermore, Netflix has a flimsy ratings system at best, only very recently adding content ratings to the opening screens of any selection. The lack of descriptive content warnings employed by cable television and other
streaming services means that movie rated "TV-MA" could have anything from a few swear words to gratuitous and explicit sex scenes.
Due to the nature of streaming, many of Netflix's titles do not have the industry-standard MPAA ratings such as PG or R. Instead, many programs fall under the umbrella of TV-MA, meaning "Mature Audiences". Again,
Netflix does not require any other content warnings to be included besides this vague description. Netflix currently has several films that fall under the category of TV-MA, and some are even rated NC-17. Many of the films rated TV-MA were
originally released as NC-17 or otherwise have extremely graphic sexual content.
The only way to block this content is for parental controls to be turned on, requiring a PIN for either specific titles or ratings such as TV-MA. Read more about Netflix parental controls here .
If movie theaters don't allow those under 17 to see NC-17 (or even R) rated movies, then why is Netflix making these films available to anyone regardless of age?
Below is a list of films currently offered on Netflix that have either a NC-17 or TV-MA rating for graphic sexual content: