Online music videos to carry age classification stamp from October

David Cameron says the trial scheme will help parents protect children from "graphic content"

Online music videos will carry an age classification certificate from October as part of a trial announced by David Cameron today.

As part of the pilot project, YouTube and Vevo will join forces with the British Board of Film Classification to rate online videos in the same way as offline videos are classified, The Guardian reports.

The initiative will help parents block their children seeing “graphic content” in music videos, the Prime Minister said, admitting that he had stopped his own children watching some videos.


“From October, we’re going to help parents protect their children from some of the graphic content in online music videos by working with the British Board of Film Classification, Vevo and YouTube to pilot the age rating of these videos,” the Prime Minister said.

“We shouldn’t cede the internet as some sort of lawless space where the normal rules of life shouldn’t apply. So, in as far as it is possible, we should try to make sure that the rules that exist offline exist online. So if you want to go and buy a music video offline there are age restrictions on it. We should try and recreate that system on the internet.”

Earlier this month, a report claimed that sexism and racism were rife in music videos, with women routinely depicted in a hyper-sexualised way that creates a “conducive context” for violence.

Commissioned by equality campaign organisations EVAW Coalition, Imkaan and Object, the report, Pornographic Performances found that men are shown as having power and dominance, with women “the passive recipients of their gaze”.

The report singled out the videos for Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’, ‘Summer’ by Calvin Harris and DJ Snake’s ‘Turn Down For What’ for particular criticism.