Published: 18th March 2015

BBFC introduces new Classification Framework to help keep content on mobile phones suitable for under-12s

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) is introducing a new Classification Framework to filter video and website content available to customers under the age of 12 via mobile networks. The change on the EE networks will take effect from 16th March 2015.

The self-regulatory partnership between EE and the BBFC brings trusted, transparent and consistent BBFC standards to content accessed via the mobile network helping to protect younger children by restricting certain unsuitable content for under 12’s.   

EE restricts access to content classified as 18 and over on its mobile network as default for all customers, but offers three types of settings ‘Off’, ‘Moderate’ and ‘Strict’ giving customers the option to choose what content lock is right for them.  The new Classification Framework is based on the BBFC’s PG standard and will be added to EE’s ‘Strict’ content setting which can be changed on the device at any time by texting the word Strict to 879. (On T-Mobile text Strict to 879 and on Orange text the word Safeguard to 150 from the device). Settings can also be changed by going through My Account or by contacting customer services.  

David Austin, Assistant Director, BBFC said: “We first provided a framework for Mobile Operators to restrict access to content via mobile networks by customers aged under 18, in September 2013. We are pleased to be able to provide an additional Classification Framework for EE, to allow them to restrict content unsuitable for users under the age of 12. The Framework takes into account the same issues the BBFC considers when age rating a film or DVD and defines content which meets the BBFC’s PG Guidelines and is therefore suitable for those under 12.”   

The Classification Framework is a living document and will be updated regularly to reflect evolving public attitudes and societal concerns. It has been developed using the BBFC’s Classification Guidelines, these are based on large scale public consultations involving around 10,000 people, and are revised every 4-5 years. 

The Classification Framework does not cover Apps or online advertisements. It is the responsibility of the Apps store provider to enforce their own terms and conditions and online advertisements remain the responsibility of the ASA. Premium rate voice or premium rate SMS text only services, will also continue to operate under the PhonepayPlus Code of Practice.