Parents Television Council criticizes video sites

Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:23pm EST
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By Gerog Szalai

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - The Parents Television Council on Wednesday unveiled findings from a study of four major online video sites for TV content, arguing that their "feeble attempt at keeping explicit content from young kids is wholly ineffective."

The PTC report, Untangling the Web of Internet Video, looked at (a joint venture of Walt Disney, NBC Universal and News Corp.), Comcast's Fancast, AOL's Slashcontrol and AT&T with a focus on such issues as the effectiveness of content ratings, homepage content decency and parental controls.

Its score card: Hulu received a D grade, Fancast and Slashcontrol got a D-, and AT&T received an F.

Among other things, the PTC found that the online video sites don't offer a parental control option on their homepages.

Also, the age-based login process is "optional, easily bypassed, and is an ineffective barrier even when used properly," it said.

While TV-14 content is not being blocked from any age group, a total of 46 percent of videos watched were unrated and accessible to all, the PTC said.

It criticized the ratings standards online as being more lenient than on TV in various cases. For example, the group said that Fancast gave South Park, a TV-MA show on Comedy Central, a TV-PG rating online.

"Most parents understand that the Internet can be a dangerous place for children to consume video entertainment," said PTC president Tim Winter.   Continued...