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MARCH 11, 2020

What our classification system could look like

ACCM has lodged its submission to the Australian Classification Regulation review here.

All the submissions can be found here at the bottom of the web page.
The report into the review, by Neville Stevens, is expected to be delivered to Minister for Communications Paul Fletcher by the end of April, followed by the government's decisions about the report's recommendations.
ACCM’s extensive experience in providing its Know Before You Go movie reviews, and Know Before You Load app reviews, has informed its call for an age based classification system.   
Help us achieve this aim, and also keep our review services free, by giving a tax-deductible donation below.


The most important submissions into Australia's classification review
KOTAKU; March 3, 2020
Alex Walker |  Eighty-two submissions have been made public, featuring replies from public bodies like ACMA, the Australian Council on Children and the Media, SBS, the Classification Board themselves, corporations like Amazon and Google, various video game developers and their representative lobbyists IGEA, and telcos like Telstra. 
Link here

Senate estimates: Senator Stirling Griff questions Classification Board director about M classification for anime films with child abuse depictions 
Various | Senator Stirling Griff is calling for the immediate removal and banning of anime and manga that contain child abuse material, currently for sale via retail outlets and on streaming services in Australia.
Hansard transcript here
Senator Griff's media release here

Screen Producers Australia (SPA) hits back at Seven's threat to halt children's production
IF MAGAZINE; February 28, 2020
Jackie Keast | Amid ongoing debate over local content quotas, the Seven Network has threatened to halt the production of children’s programs, raising the ire of producers.
Link here

Australia could implement mandatory age verification for pornography websites
THE GUARDIAN; March 5, 2020
Josh Taylor | A government report calls for users to verify their age before access despite the UK abandoning similar proposals.
News story here
Full report here

American Psychological Association re-affirms its stance on violent video games: links with aggression
Various | The link between violent video game exposure and aggressive behavior is one of the most studied and best established. Since the earlier meta-analyses, this link continues to be a reliable finding.
Link here

New US bill would remake kids' internet content
John Eggerton |  A pair of powerful Democrats have drafted a bill that would change the face of children's online content/gaming industry. The Kids Internet Design and Safety (KIDS) Act, introduced Thursday (March 5) by Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), would, among many other things, ban auto-play settings, push alerts and reward "badges" on websites and/or apps for kids and young teens.
News story here

The new ‘Mulan’ has people asking: Are PG-13 films becoming the new default for kids’ movies?
DESERET NEWS; February 27, 2020
Valerie Jones | Disney’s live-action “Mulan” hits theaters next month, and it’s coming with some noticeable changes. The wise-cracking dragon Mushu and the many musical numbers from the beloved 1998 film are gone in this reboot. But one of the biggest changes of all is the PG-13 rating in the US.
Note: Australia has just given the film a 'PG' rating. 

News story here

Hot Wheels puts its toy cars on the menu of hatted restaurants in Melbourne to reward well-behaved children
MUMBRELLA; March 4, 2020
Zoe Wilkinson | In an effort to encourage parents to move away from rewarding good behaviour in restaurants with screen time, Hot Wheels is putting its toys ‘On the Menu’ of three of Melbourne’s hatted restaurants.The campaign was devised by Thinkerbell. A $3.50 Hot Wheels car will appear at the bottom of a children’s degustation menu created by chef Charlie Carrington of Atlas Dining for two weeks.
News story here

Outdoor advertising industry ban on 'discretionary food' billboards near schools
ADNEWS; February 24, 2020
Chris Pash | The outdoor advertising industry has launched a self regulatory campaign to restrict billboard advertising of unhealthy foods near Australian schools and tackle obesity. Peak industry body Outdoor Media Association (OMA)  says the Health and Wellbeing Policy is a world-first to take an active role in limiting the public’s exposure to discretionary food and drinks.
News story here

Cancer Council Victoria campaign warns of the perils of consuming sugary drinks 
MUMBRELLA; February 24, 2020
Zoe WilkinsonCancer Council Victoria has launched a campaign for the Rethink Sugary Drink initiative, aiming to help children make healthier choices. The ad shows a young girl reaching for a can of soft drink. When she tips it, a stream of sugar pours out and she envisages her family hungrily consuming a mountain of sugar. Her sister turns to her and smiles exposing a mouth with rotten teeth.
News story here

Social media giants block Cancer Council WA campaign 
ADNEWS; February 21, 2020
Paige MurphyCancer Council WA is calling for tougher restrictions on junk food and drink advertising to children after its own campaign was blocked by social media giants Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram. The social media platforms blocked Cancer Council WA’s latest LiveLighter public health campaign on raising awareness of the health impacts of sugary drinks consumption.
News story here

'Who's the target audience?': Push to overhaul PG classification 
Broede Carmody | There are growing calls for Australia to overhaul its popular PG category for films, television and computer games. The Walt Disney Company and even the Classification Board itself have joined children's groups in calling for the "parental guidance" rating to be split into separate categories for younger viewers and those approaching their teens. The arguments are contained in submissions to the government's wide-ranging review of Australia's classification rules.
News story here
Association of Increased Youth Suicide With 13 Reasons Why 
Link here

How children hide their browsing history 
Link here

Association of Parental and Contextual Stressors With Child Screen Exposure and Child Screen Exposure Combined With Feeding
Link here
What predicts esports betting?A study on consumption of video games, esports, gambling and demographic factors
Author: Jospeh Macey, Brett Abarbanel, Juho Hamari
Publication: SAGE Journals 
Published: March 3, 2020
Link here

The prevalence of loot boxes in mobile and desktop games 
AuthorsDavid ZendleRachel MeyerPaul CairnsStuart WatersNick Ballou
Publication: Society for the Study of Addiction
Published: January 20, 2020
Link here
"The Call of the Wild" tells the story of Buck, a big-hearted dog whose life is turned upside down when he is suddenly uprooted from his home and transplanted in the Yukon.

The Call of the Wild (PG)

PLOT: Buck is a big-hearted dog whose blissful domestic life gets turned upside down when he is suddenly uprooted from his California home and transplanted to the exotic wilds of the Yukon in the 1890s. As the newest rookie on a mail-delivery dog sled team, Buck experiences the adventure of a lifetime as he ultimately finds his true place in the world..

WE SAY:  Some violent and upsetting themes warrant parental guidance for ages 7-8.The Call of the Wild is targeted at a family audience, best suited to ages 9 and above.


The Wishmas Tree (PG)

PLOT: A young possum's misguided wish for a white Wishmas freezes her entire hometown of Sanctuary City and threatens all who live there.

WE SAY: The Wishmas Tree is an animated adventure featuring a number of dark and violent scenes. Due to the nature of some of these scenes, the film is most suitable for families with older children (10+).
Screen Smart Kids workshop



Learn more

2020 Global Summit on Media for Children


DATES July 6 to 8, 2020

VENUE Pullman Jakarta Central Park 

Learn more

For 17 years the Australian Council on Children and the Media has been helping Australian families to find the best content for their children, by providing evidence-based reviews.
The government funding for these services has been cut.
We don't want to charge for the services, because not all families can afford them - but all families need them. Please give what you can so we can keep them free.

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