The British secretary of state for culture, media, and sports, Andy Burnham, told The Daily Telegraph recently that he thinks "cinema-style ratings" should be placed on all Web sites to grade them based on their content and decency.
According to Burnham, the Web is "a dangerous place" and we need to do a better job of ensuring children don't make their way to the wrong sites. He believes that by using the ratings system already imposed on films, it could do the world a great deal of good.
He's kidding, right? How can anyone expect a "cinema-style" ratings system to work in an environment where individuality and "user-owned" content are coveted above all else? Oh, and what about the whole enforcement of such an idea? Should we hire pimple-faced teenagers to check IDs before your 13-year-old decides to surf to HowardStern.com like they do at movie theaters?
The idea that anyone would want to place ratings on Web sites strikes me as, well, one of the dumbest Ideas I've heard in a long time. It's not that I'm against keeping kids away from questionable content. I simply don't know how a ratings system could do any good.… Read more