Feeds

MPs report back from internet's dark side

Country going to hell on YouTube

Build a business case: developing custom apps

MPs have called on the government to install a YouTube Czar to oversee user-generated content sites and better labels for video games.

The Committee of Culture, Media and Sport, in its report Harmful Content on the Internet and in Video Games, said it was unconvinced by claims from sites like YouTube that they could not check on uploaded content: "We recommend that proactive review of content should be standard practice for sites hosting user-generated content." The report said: "Even if review of every bit of content is not practical, that is not an argument to undertake none at all."

MPs called for the terms and conditions of such websites to be more prominently displayed and for direct links for reporting abuses to police and support organisations. The report said: "We are also concerned that user-generated video content on sites such as YouTube does not carry any age classification, nor is there a watershed before which it cannot be viewed."

The politicians accepted that self-regulation has had a beneficial effect but were concerned at "a lack of consistency and transparency of practice, and the public needs the assurance that certain basic standards will be met". The committee proposed tighter self-regulation, "under which the industry would speedily establish a self-regulatory body to draw up agreed minimum standards based upon the recommendations of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety, monitor their effectiveness, publish performance statistics, and adjudicate on complaints".

The committee even suggests that this body might also regulate online piracy, peer-to-peer services and Phorm-type advertising.

It called for industry standards to be set for take-down times. MPs commended Microsoft for providing a direct link to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre from within Windows Live Messenger and for putting parental controls into the X-box.

On video games the committee seems to add another level of confusion. There are two systems for labelling video games - one backed by the games industry across Europe called PEGI and one created by the British Board of Film Classification which the committee supports. This is at odds with the findings of Dr Tanya Byron, who recomended a blending of the two systems.

The report summary notes, apparently without irony, that "several Government departments have an interest in this field, and it does seem that there is scope for improved co-ordination of activity between them".

The talking shop also called for the UK council for Child Internet Safety to discuss with the Ministry of Justice whether the law on assisted suicide laws were strong enough and to take action to block sites which encourage suicide.

The report is available here. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.