The Parents Television Council commended Netflix for adding another level of parental controls to its system and encouraged the company to keep making its platform safer for children. Last August, a PTC study of streaming services found that children have easy access to adult content, in part, because the parental controls are lax or non-existent. (see PTC study)
Changes to Netflix are reported to include:
- the TV or movie rating will be displayed on screen at the beginning; and
- individual titles will now be able to be PIN-protected by users.
“We commend Netflix for taking this important first step towards giving parents more control over the platform. But there’s more the company must do to give parents to help them protect their children from harmful content, such as gun violence or sexually-explicit content. Our research has revealed gaping holes in the parental controls available on Netflix and other streaming services, despite Netflix’s aforementioned changes,” said PTC President Tim Winter.
“One problematic area that does not appear to be addressed in Netflix’s latest updates is that Netflix offers categories of content that viewers may find offensive, which often feature pornographic titles and cover art, and which often appear in close proximity to child-friendly categories – with no clear or obvious way of eliminating those categories from menu screens. Eliminating individual titles is fine but doesn’t completely address this gross oversight.
“Netflix must also follow the lead of Sirius XM satellite radio and make a lower-cost family tier available so that parents aren’t asked to underwrite MA-rated violence or sexually explicit programming. Parents should be able to embrace the good, family-quality content on Netflix without bringing – or paying for – the most toxic content. Embracing such a model would bring Netflix even more subscribers.”
“Lastly, Netflix should work collaboratively with content-filtering solutions, like VidAngel, that allow families to consume Hollywood blockbusters while selectively removing explicit words or scenes. By embracing such filtering services, both Netflix and their Hollywood studio partners will reap huge financial benefits from an entirely new marketplace that otherwise would not consider their products and services. It’s win-win, and it’s a no-brainer – unless there is an agenda that’s considered more important than corporate fiduciary concerns.”