[uf-discuss] Exploratory discussion: content rating

Tantek Ç elik tantek at cs.stanford.edu
Thu Jul 27 09:22:45 PDT 2006

In short, this is a solved problem.  "content ratings" are just tags, and...
* Use xFolk to tag resources (anything with a URL).
* Use rel-tag to tag content (e.g. blog posts).

If you want to specify specific "content rating" systems, use the rel-tag
tagspace feature to do so. E.g. you can tag something as "NSFW" by linking
the rel-tag to 



On 7/27/06 6:46 AM, "Scott Reynen" <scott at randomchaos.com> wrote:

> This was discussed at some length last October:
> http://microformats.org/discuss/mail/microformats-discuss/2005-
> October/001684.html

Right, which concluded with:


I.e. just use tags.  This is a solved problem.

On 7/27/06 7:41 AM, "Andreas Haugstrup Pedersen" <solitude at solitude.dk>

> 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.

Indeed this is the crux of the problem.  Determining a taxonomy for content
tagging (which is essentially all this form of "rating" is) is outside the
scope of microformats.

On 7/27/06 7:52 AM, "Drew McLellan" <lists at allinthehead.com> wrote:

> By that logic you're saying there's no value in having some way to
> indicate that content may be offensive to some people, so best have
> no indication of that at all.

Actually yes.

> Remember that the default state on the
> web is that everything is potentially off the top of the scale of any
> individual's idea of acceptability.

I disagree.  If by default you mean typical, then certainly not.  I wouldn't
expect the average person to be offended by the average web page.

> There's no harm done by giving
> content a more 'liberal' rating than another person might than if
> that content was never rated in the first place.

The problem is that the term "rating" in this context *presumes* taxonomy.
That's why Andreas is point is crucial.  Since developing such a taxonomy is
outside the scope of microformats, it doesn't make any sense to attempt to
solve the problem in this manner.

On 7/27/06 7:12 AM, "Drew McLellan" <lists at allinthehead.com> wrote:

> Unless I've misunderstood, that proposal was different in that it was
> attempting to apply a 'xxx' rating to a link.
> Here we're talking about rating an item of content itself, like a
> photo, paragraph or perhaps an entire page.

Whether it is a link to another page, or a link ("src") to an image, it
makes no difference.

In either case, you can just use xFolk to tag the resource with whatever
tags you want, including tags from a formal "content rating" taxonomy as
long as that taxonomy has a representation on the Web.

As far as tagging a chunk of text, currently you can only tag an entire blog
post via rel-tag which so far has been good enough.  There really hasn't
been demand for paragraph by paragraph tagging and thus I think that falls
outside the 80% use case (certainly outside the 80% content publishing case
- have you even ever seen someone tag the content of individual paragraphs
separately in the wild?).



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