The FPB doesn’t have a lot going on during the day so they spend a lot of time trying to impose ridiculous new rules that will make it a pain to be a content creator or in fact, just a person at the chance 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 to social media and other platforms.
This is to impose a new age limit to guide viewers on the content they consume online and above all to ensure that the content is safe for children.
In the latest draft, FPB details changes to the guidelines to now include the average social media user alongside filmmakers, streamers, artists, and more.
- Make various changes to definitions of key terms, including aligning definitions with those in the Criminal Law (Sex Offenses 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 who distribute content via the Internet, social media or other electronic media. This would apparently include someone posting a home video on social media for non-commercial purposes.
- Stricter measures are being considered to classify content. For example, the proposals aim to strengthen the decision-making capacity 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 comes from outside of South Africa. All of these TikTok videos that kids are watching these days are not from here, so there is a bit of bewilderment when it comes to controlling these media outlets in South Africa.
If the FPB wanted to control this, they have a very big battle ahead of them as they will have to impose regulations on every social media platform to guide this proposed project.
For South Africans, this would mean having to share videos with the FPB before being allowed to post them online. For me, that would mean sharing all my YouTube content in advance, waiting for them to approve it, and then sharing it online. Forget about deadlines and embargoes for reviews and content.
If you are a streamer, you will also need to submit your stream to the FPB for classification before you can share it. I don’t know how FPB plans to tackle live content that relies on being active in streaming without pre-recorded footage.
For the average South African who just wants to share a funny video on Facebook, that would also mean having to get a rating for the video before being allowed to upload it. You cannot just share your videos willy-nilly as if you were a free person using the free internet platform.
The main objective of this project is to ensure that content downloaded from the Internet is safe for children and if not, they can impose restrictions. FPB also plans to provide tools for children and adults to make “an informed choice” when consuming content.
It’s also important to note that most social media platforms already have age restrictions in place to prevent kids 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 children. This then determines where the video is viewed. Either on the YouTube Kids app or on the mainstream YouTube platform. This system works great, but again, thanks to YouTube’s “kid-friendly” app, it’s also a necessary system.
I don’t know about you, but that all sounds rather ambitious and a bit radical, right? The FPB says South Africans have 30 days to comment on the guidelines. What do you think of these guidelines? Shout below. You can also read the draft below:
FPB Classification Changes
Source: Press release