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Netflix uses BBFC algorithm to add age ratings to entire library

Given the wealth of content added to Netflix each week, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) would surely need extra staff to watch everything and ensure its age-rated.

Thankfully for the BBFC staffers, a new algorithm developed in partnership with Netflix has assisted with classifying more than 10,000 films, documentaries and TV programs.

To make it possible, Netflix watched all of its content, flagging all of the instances of sex, violence and bad language and fed that data into the algorithm. That yielded age ratings, which Netflix voluntarily added to 100% of its content.

As such, viewers will see the same U, PG, 12, 15 and 18 ratings they see at the cinema or when watching DVDs or Blu-rays at home. Netflix the first streaming service to adopt the algorithm for ratings and the BBFC is now encouraging more platforms to jump aboard.

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“We wanted our members to see the same trusted age ratings on our service as they recognise from cinema and DVD – to simplify the process of choosing content, however they watch. We’ve been working closely with the BBFC for nearly a decade now, and we’re excited that our partnership has moved to the next level,” says Netflix’s Jessica Stansfield, Director of Ratings Policy and Compliance.

“BBFC age ratings are trusted in the UK, and together we’re now providing our members with the information they need. Our continuing partnership with the BBFC allows us to ensure our members always press play on content that is right for them and their families.”

A BBFC survey suggested 88% of parents find the ratings useful on Netflix, especially the ability to pin protect titles by age ratings and filter out the content that isn’t deemed suitable.

David Austin, Chief Executive of the BBFC, said: “With people spending increasing amounts of time online, it’s more important than ever for families to have clear, consistent advice on content so they can choose well. This innovative partnership with one of the biggest services in the UK has allowed us to do just that – and we’re delighted that Netflix’s entire UK catalogue now carries BBFC age ratings, which people know and trust. No matter what families choose to watch, they can watch with confidence.”

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