[uf-discuss] Exploratory discussion: content rating

Andreas Haugstrup Pedersen solitude at solitude.dk
Thu Jul 27 07:41:06 PDT 2006

On Thu, 27 Jul 2006 14:23:05 +0100, Drew McLellan wrote
> From a discussion in #microformats trying to brainstorm around a  
> gravatar.com-like system based on distributed hCards, we stumbled  
> across perhaps a simpler problem to solve.
> All content published on the web is unrated (in terms of nudity,  
> violence, profanity etc) by default. There is currently no *simple*  
> method for authors to express a rating for their content so that  
> visitors may choose to filter on their level of comfort.

The problem with ratings is not that they're hard to write (or rather, that 
problem is easily solved). The problem is determining what ratings mean. 
NSFW in one location can be very different than NSFW in the building next 
door. An R rating may imply that anyone under 17 shouldn't be watching this 
(according to the MPAA), but it can also mean that anyone over 13 should be 
fine. And you have variations based on the actual content matter. MPAA is 
hard on sex, but soft on violence, European rating systems may be different.

The cultural issues involved in creating a ratings system that actually 
*work* in practice, across borders is really really hard. You need to solve 
that problem before a microformat for ratings makes any sense.

IMO, of course.


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