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NICAM is investigating technological possibilities for online regulation

H ow can we keep protecting children from harmful content? When NICAM started in 2001, the media on offer was fairly comprehensive. It turned out to be possible to provide all audiovisual content with a rating- and education system. Now, the media-landscape has changed drastically. On video-sharing platforms, such as YouTube, children have access to videos that could be very harmful, but that are not rated. Research done by NICAM shows that (international) distributors and Kijkwijzer both have an important role to play.

The 3 most important insights:

  1. Distributors, including Dutch YouTube channels, can offer more online protection to children. They are able to do so, firstly, by rating their own content, using - for example - YouRateIt. Secondly, they can use technological instruments like safe online portals for young children or an age verification system for parents.
  2. Kijkwijzer plays an important role in the awareness of young users of online media. The new media-education style - involved and coaching instead of patronising - turns out to be most efficient among younger people. It is therefore recommended that young people are offered the information they need to make their own decision about viewing certain content.
  3. NICAM calls for an international and industry-wide approach to the online domain. International Standard Audiovisual Number (ISAN), an identification system that allows content to be rated according to a commonly applied, international standard, offers many possibilities.

What did we use these insights for?

This research contributed to the transformation of Kijkwijzer into a tool: instead of a cautionary role, Kijkwijzer wants to play an informative and participatory role in the lives of children, adolescents and parents. NICAM also established regulations for media-suppliers who distribute content on online platforms: they must comply to the requirements made by NICAM, such as the rating of products, providing information and the protection of minors. Lastly, this research adds value to the further development of YouRateIt: a Kijkwijzer application for rating online videos by creators.

About this research

Following consumer research carried out by Radboud University and diary research carried out by CHOICE Insight + Strategy, NICAM carried out further, future-oriented research.

Want to read more?

+ Popularity Video on Demand demands well-informed parents and children

Published: May 16 2020