SafeCast is a technology which enables the automatic filtering of inappropriate content away from children and vulnerable people on television and the internet by means of a Self Applied Content Rating system. When uploading a video the creator inserts a label which indicates how safe the video is for children – whether it contains any pornography, horror or violence which could harm or could cause distress to children of different ages. Then, when viewing the video, lightweight filters in the device or browser can read the label and filter away content that is inappropriate for their age and maturity. But this is not censorship because adults are able to view the unfiltered content. Nor does this require compulsory age verification technology in the UK because the SafeCast Self Applied Content Rating system can be mapped onto the Key Stages of the UK National Curriculum rather than the exact age of the child. Any smartphone, tablet, pc or television can be set to filter in accordance with a child’s school-age which, in the UK, is based upon the UK and Irish statutory rule that a child is able to start attending primary school if the child’s fifth birthday falls on or after the 1st September.
In the United Kingdom, filtering to protect children and vulnerable people is required to enable broadcasters and internet service providers to comply with Section 104 of the Digital Economy Act 2017 as best practice. But no ISP, broadcaster or web service is currently complying with this Ofcom requirement in an open and fair manner. Though the use of its Self Applied Content Rating system SafeCast enables everyone to filter their content because labelling is FREE.
In Australia, using a child’s school-age for filtering is more complicated than in the UK and Ireland because a child’s school-age varies by state across the country:
- In Tasmania a child must be 5 years old by 1 January in the year in which they start school.
- In Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), a child must be 5 years old by 30 April in the year in which they start school.
- In South Australia a child must be 5 years old by 1 May in the year in which they start school.
- In Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia, a child must be 5 years old by 30 June in the year in which they start school.
- In New South Wales a child must be 5 years old by 31 July in the year in which they start school.
- However SafeCast considers that, with goodwill, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) will be able to implement a proportionate and fair implementation of SafeCast’s protections for Australian children using statewide enrolment systems for Australian primary school children.
SafeCast is the technology company behind SafeCast Global.