Evaluation of self-regulatory measures for the protection of minors in the film, computer games, telecommunications and Internet sectors
The changing media landscape poses specific risks for minors using the media and presents new challenges for parents, educationalists, industry and the state. The present study evaluates the self-regulatory initiatives of the film, computer games, telecommunications and Internet industries in Switzerland as regards the protection of minors. It describes the self-regulatory initiatives that exist in each industry, how they are implemented, what effects they have and how they could be improved.
The individual initiatives are evaluated mainly on the basis of a theory-driven examination of the organizational success factors, supplemented by the results of test purchases in the film and computer games sectors, and by surveys of parents on the topics of content filters and age ratings for films and games. In addition, the results of tests of the effectiveness of filter software are assessed.
The evaluation comes to the conclusion that the industries’ self-regulatory initiatives need to be reviewed regularly, refined and upgraded in line with technological developments, and made more widely known among the companies involved. Information and advice on the protection of minors must be improved at the points of sale. Effective systems for verifying age must be developed and used by those providing value-added services.