UK Introducing Movie-like Website Rating System

The UK government is looking in to giving websites rating similar to those used for movies, Reuters reports, and they are reaching out to the United States to get involved.

While the idea of stricter restrictions for kids' access to certain web content may not be a bad one, the idea of some government appointed official determining ratings is scary. Or will it be put to a vote? Will we get to vote on who becomes the web czar? How many people will be involved?

Reuters reported Andy Burnham, Britian's Culture Minister, said "the government was planning to negotiate with the administration of U.S. President-elect Barack Obama to draw up new international rules for English."

"This is not a campaign against free speech, far from it; it is simply there is a wider public interest at stake when it involves harm to other people. We have got to get better at defining where the public interest lies and being clear about it," Burnham told the UK Telegraph.

Censorship of the internet by governments is nothing new, but the US government is not the same as China. This initiative seems like a slippery slope. It is definitely something everyone should keep aware of, if it starts you should be recognize the people acting as censors - they will be the same guys pulling the books from our library shelves.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.