Film classification

Topic Selected: Censorship

General Article icon Type: General Article

The most significant piece of legislation to affect BBFC classification standards is the Video Recordings Act 1984. This Act requires all ‘video works’ (films, TV programmes, video games, etc) which are supplied on a disc, tape or any other device capable of storing data electronically to be classified by the BBFC, unless they fall within the definition of an exempted work.
Under this Act, the BBFC is obliged to have ‘special regard’ (among other relevant factors) to the likelihood of video works being viewed in the home, and to any harm that may be caused to potential viewers or, through their behaviour, to society by the manner in which the work deals with criminal behaviour, illegal drugs, violent behaviour or incidents, horrific behaviour or incidents, and human sexual activity. In considering these issues, the BBFC needs to be mindful of the possible effect not only on children but also on other vulnerable groups.
The Human Rights Act 1998 establis

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