#askbbfc Twitter Q and A transcript Thursday 12 February | British Board of Film Classification
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#askbbfc Twitter Q and A transcript Thursday 12 February

On Thursday 12 February, we held the answer session for our #askbbfc Twitter Q & A.

Earlier in the week we asked our followers to tweet us their questions about film classification and the BBFC, using the #askBBFC hashtag.

Date 16/02/2015

The #askbbfc answer session took the most interesting questions and answered them during a 30 minute session. If you missed this, the transcript of questions and answers follows below.

We aim to hold a twitter Q and A once a month and we’ll give plenty notice about when we’re collecting questions, whether there is a specific theme and when the answer session will take place. We use this format to ensure that any questions that require detailed answers can be researched if required and formulated into as few tweets as possible.

You can send longer questions you have to us at any time, by emailing us.


Q: Neil Ramjee asks about requesting a specific age rating for a film #askbbfc

Q: If a distributor requests a high-end category, eg 18, will the BBFC rate it accordingly even if the content is lower? #askbbfc

A: A film can only be classified in terms of its content #askbbfc ...

A: So even if the distributor wants an 18, if the content is only 15 level, it will be passed at 15 #askbbfc

A: Film classification decisions must be consistent and reflect the BBFC Guidelines #askbbfc

A: it is helpful for us to know what rating a distributor is aiming for #askbbfc

A: but it makes no difference to the final classification #askbbfc

A: Of all the films submitted with a classification request in 2014, 35% received a different classification #askbbfc


Q: David Beckett asks if male and female nudity is classified differently #askbbfc

Q: Is non-sexual nudity, particularly of nipples, treated differently for men and women and, if so, why? #askbbfc

A: Non-sexualised or natural nudity is classified in the same way regardless of gender #askbbfc

A: Even at U occasional nudity, with no sexual context may be acceptable #askbbfc


Q: Ben Hunt asks about classifying adult works R18 #askbbfc

Q: #askbbfc why have you banned things like female ejaculation and bdsm? Isn't it a bit sexist

A: There is no list of banned acts, but the Classification Guidelines must follow UK law #askbbfc

A: We cannot classify material likely to be considered in breach of the OPA - this includes urolagnia #askbbfc

A: If there is no on-screen proof it is female ejaculation & not urolagnia we may not classify it #askbbfc


Q: Martyn asks about the changing role of BBFC #askbbfc

Q: #askbbfc How do you see classification in general, and the role of the BBFC in particular, changing in the UK over the next 10 years?

A: The role of the BBFC is changing in line with society and technology, and will continue to do so #askbbfc

A: The Classification Guidelines aim to reflect public opinion as it shifts over time #askbbfc

A: We provide detailed information about why a film got its rating, this is called BBFCinsight #askbbfc

A: BBFCinsight is available on the website and free BBFC app #askbbfc

A: This sort of detailed information is increasingly important to parents #askbbfc

A: Our online work is growing. Many VoD platforms - such as Netflix - now submit online content for classification voluntarily #askbbfc

A: We’re working with 3 UK labels & Vevo & YouTube to test how age ratings for music videos online could improve child protection #askbbfc

A: We also provide a classification framework for mobile network operators #askbbfc

A: This prevents under 18s seeing content we’d rate 18, via a mobile internet network #askbbfc

A: We will continue to develop BBFC tools and classification information to meet public demand #askbbfc


Q: Martyn asks about showing films without an age rating #askbbfc

Q: #askbbfc Would the BBFC support the showing of unclassified films in an educational institution or cinema licensed for adult viewers?

A: Local Councils can give permission to a cinema to do this #askbbfc

A: Film festivals often use Local Council permission to screen films not yet classified #askbbfc

A: Under the Licensing Act cinemas must adhere to BBFC age ratings unless they have Local Council permission not to #askbbfc


Q: We have time for one final #askbbfc question today...

Q: #askbbfc Would the BBFC consider creating equivalent of American R rating in UK, where a viewer under 17 requires accompanying adult?

A: in the UK the 15 is generally the equivalent to the R, but the MPAA & BBFC systems are different #askbbfc

A: The last review of the Classification Guidelines found parents are concerned that children are still vulnerable at 15 #askbbfc

A: and there were varying views about how ‘adult’ a teenager is at 15 #askbbfc

A: Taking this into account it is unlikely that parents would feel inclined to allow a 12, 13 or 14 year old to see a 15 rated film #askbbfc

A: BBFC Classification Guidelines reflect UK public opinion and don’t take into account standards or systems in other countries #askbbfc

A: It would also likely be confusing to introduce a new BBFC advisory category like the MPAA R rating #askbbfc


That’s all we have time for today. Thank you to everyone sending #askbbfc questions this week


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