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Online Policy Group

Online policy research, outreach, and action on issues such as access, privacy, and digital defamation.
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Research: Rating Systems Analysis
Proponents of self-regulation of Internet content point to content rating systems as a potential solution to the problem of how to screen objectionable content from children, while admitting that it it unclear how or if such self-regulation could be enforced.

Currently, the industry-standard Internet content rating system is the RSACi system from the Internet Content Rating Assocation (ICRA), although a new industry-standard content rating system is apparently in development. Another system called PICS provides a standard for encoding various content rating systems so that web browsers and other tools can be designed to incorporate any PICS-compliant content rating system.

The Online Policy groups explores questions such as these:

  • Is it possible for an Internet content rating system to rate Internet content fairly?
  • Is there any Internet content rating system that permits ratings with an acceptably low level of bias?
  • Do Internet content rating systems inherently discriminate against certain types of content?

Additional Resources


Protesters "Click-in" to Disable Website
Hundreds of South Koreans shut down the government's Information and Communications Ministry to protest plans for Internet content rating system, The Motley Fool, August 30, 2000
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