FPB Wants All Content Creators and Users To Submit Videos For Classification Before Publishing

"Can you control the internet? The FPB thinks so"

Films and Publications Board FPB South Africa
FPB Wants All Content Creators and Users To Submit Videos For Classification Before Publishing

The FPB don’t have a lot of things going on during the day so they spend a lot of time trying to impose new ridiculous rules that will make it a pain in the ass to be a content creator or in fact, just some random person on social media. The latest draft suggests that the FPB wants everyone to submit their content for classification before they are allowed to upload it onto social media and other platforms.

This is to enforce a new age restriction to guide viewers on the content they are consuming online and especially make sure the content is safe for children.

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In the latest draft, the FPB details the changes to the guidelines to now include the average social media user alongside filmmakers, streamers, artists and so on.

  • Making various changes to the definitions of key terms, including aligning definitions with those in the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, 2007 and the Films and Publications Amendment Act, 2019.
  • Distributors of a film, game, publication or online content will explicitly include persons that stream content through the internet, social media or other electronic media. This would seemingly include an individual posting a personal video on social media for non-commercial purposes.
  • Stricter measures are envisioned for classifying content. For example, the proposals aim to enhance the decision-making capability of adults (for themselves and their children) when consuming content, by providing them with the tools to make an informed choice.

Now there’s a lot wrong with this draft. Media is consumed everywhere and despite what the FPB thinks, the majority of content consumed is from outside of South Africa. All those cringe TikTok videos kids are watching these days aren’t from here so there’s a bit of misguidance when it comes to controlling that media in SA.

If the FPB wanted to control this, they have a very big battle ahead of them as they will need to impose regulations across each and every social media platform in guidance to this proposed draft.

For South Africans, it would mean having to share videos with the FPB before being allowed to publish them online. For me, that would mean sharing all my YouTube content beforehand, waiting for them to approve it and then sharing it online. Forget meeting deadlines and embargoes for reviews and content.

If you are a streamer, you would have to also submit your stream to the FPB for classification before you can share it. I am not sure how the FPB plan on tackling live content that relies on being active on stream without pre-recorded footage.

For the average South African who just wants to share a funny video on Facebook, this would also mean having to get classification for the video before being allowed to upload it. You can’t just share your videos all willy-nilly like you’re a free person using the free internet platform.

The main goal of this draft is to ensure the content being uploaded to the internet is safe for children and if not, they can impose restrictions on it. The FPB also plans on providing tools for children and adults to make “an informed choice” when consuming content.

It is also important to note that most social media platforms already have age restrictions in place to prevent children from seeing things they shouldn’t. YouTube, for example, requires you to submit your video rating beforehand while also deciding whether or not the video is made for kids. This then determines where the video is seen. Either on the YouTube Kids App or mainstream YouTube platform. This system works great but then again, due to YouTube’s “kid-friendly” app, it is also a necessary system.

I don’t know about you but this all sounds rather ambitious and a little radical, right? The FPB says South Africans have 30 days to comment on these guidelines. What do you think about these guidelines? Shout out below. You can also give the draft a read below:

FPB-classification-changes

Source: Press release

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