British Board of Film Classification

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EE Strict - Framework

The EE Strict Classification Framework shall allow for Commercial Content that is supplied over the EE, T-Mobile and Orange mobile networks to be placed behind the ‘Strict’ setting. The Classification Framework will also be used to calibrate the filters used by EE to restrict access to websites on the Internet (i.e. content delivered by URLs). 

Part A

The BBFC has created and will maintain the EE Strict Classification Framework.

The EE Strict Classification Framework is based on the BBFC’s Classification Guidelines which are the result of regular large scale public consultation as well as UK Law and credible media effects research.

The EE Strict Classification Framework is a living document which adapts to reflect evolving public attitudes and societal concerns.

The EE Strict Classification Framework does not cover the following: 

  1. Apps. It is the responsibility of the Apps store provider to enforce their own terms and conditions 
  2. Online advertisements. These remain the responsibility of the ASA 
  3. UK political parties with representatives elected in local, regional, national and European elections
  4. Premium rate voice or premium rate SMS text only services, which continue to operate under the PhonepayPlus Code of Practice

Additional categories of content are filtered in accordance with EE’s editorial policies for the ‘Strict’ level, for the protection of young children for whom the category in of itself may be unsuitable.  These include tobacco, alcohol, gambling, dating, plagiarism, file sharing and chat.

It is the Content Provider’s responsibility to ensure that none of the content subject to the Classification Framework contains any illegal material.

It is the retailer’s responsibility to utilise effective age verification systems when it comes to supplying customers with age restricted goods or services, and the relevant local Trading Standards service is responsible for the enforcement of this consumer related legislation.

The Classification Framework operates a binary classification system. It defines what the BBFC considers not suitable for those customers aged under 12.

Responsibility for the interpretation of the Classification Framework rests with the BBFC and is subject to normal considerations of fairness and reasonableness.

Some sites may be placed behind filters if they are a known method of circumventing parental controls.

There is no one determining factor which would lead to advice being given by the BBFC that particular content is not suitable for those aged under 12. The BBFC can take into account a variety of factors, including but not limited to the nature of the material and the public acceptability of a particular product or service in relation to those aged under 12.

The context in which an issue (such as sex, language or violence) is presented is also central to the question of whether or not it is suitable. That context may either aggravate an issue (for example when language is used aggressively) or mitigate (for example comedy may soften the effect). 

Part B

The following type of content is what the BBFC considers not suitable for a PG audience, i.e. those customers aged under 12.

Any content described below will be placed behind EE’s ‘Strict’ filter.

Behaviour

  • detail of potentially dangerous behaviour which children are likely to copy, if that behaviour is presented as safe or fun  (e.g. playing with fireworks, climbing into freezers, playing on railway lines)
  • depiction of self harm
  • glamorisation of realistic or easily accessible weapons such as knives, including a focus on such weapons
  • focus on anti-social behaviour which young children are likely to copy (e.g. bullying, vandalism)
  • instructional detail or glamorisation of criminal activity

Discrimination

  • discriminatory language or behaviour unless clearly disapproved of, or in an educational context suitable for younger children  
  • discrimination by a character with whom children can readily identify
  • aggressive discriminatory language or behaviour 

Drugs

  • references to illegal drugs or drug misuse unless innocuous 
  • references to illegal drugs or drug misuse unless they carry a suitable anti-drug message
  • verbal or visual depictions of tobacco or alcohol use which glamorise or otherwise promote it

Language

  • moderate, strong or very strong language
  • mild language which is aggressively used or very frequent

Sex

  • sexualised posing, dancing or gestures
  • sight of sexual activity unless discreet, infrequent and implied only
  • sight of sex toys and paraphernalia
  • moderate or crude sex references
  • nudity in a sexual context
  • sight of genitals in a work with no apparent educational purpose
  • sex education and advice which is inappropriate for children aged under 12 (this will include detailed discussion of topics such as abortion or sexual positions and performance)
  • verbal or visual references to bondage and other BDSM activities

Violence and Threat

  • moderate or strong violence 
  • emphasis on injuries or blood, gory moments, which may be animated
  • prolonged or intense frightening sequences
  • moderate physical and psychological threat and horror
  • visual or verbal references to sexual violence

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