Yet Another Ratings System That Won't Work

from the when-all-else-fails dept

Ah, ratings systems. The last bastion of bureaucrats trying to control the spread of “mature” content. Apparently this phenomenon isn’t limited to the US. Ernest Miller points to a story about a new South Korean law that requires online video clips to be rated. This is aimed at reducing violence, which lawmakers say includes “privacy infringement” and libel. Forget for a second what exactly privacy infringement is (invasion of privacy? abuse of privacy?) or what it and libel have to do with violence. And forget the logistical (and possibly legal) nightmare of applying and enforcing the ratings. Ultimately, the rating system will probably do more harm than good. As Ernest notes, ratings will simply limit free speech more than curb violence or protect people from it. And where they don’t limit speech, the ratings will be ignored or help filter content for those seeking violent videos. As if that wasn’t enough, the government is also considering a law requiring internet users to disclose their real names, ostensibly for the purpose of reducing the nefarious and nebulous scourge of “privacy infringement.” So the answer to privacy concerns is to eliminate privacy? While they’re at, maybe they can just eliminate violence too.

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