If you log into Netflix right now, you’ll see something new.
That something is the presence of the Film and Publication Board’s (FPB) classification system on Netflix content.
This classification system can be seen when visiting a page for a movie or series or while hovering over content on the website.
Indeed, a Netflix Help Center page now displays local ratings according to the FPB’s system.
You can find out what each of the ratings means here.
Truth be told, we’ve actually been waiting for this system to be implemented since last year.
Back in February 2020, the FPB announced that it had signed a distribution agreement with Netflix International.
“The signing of this contract is the culmination of a series of discussions on the prioritisation of safe content consumption for our citizens, where materials distributed in the country are accompanied by ratings that prepare the consumer for the type of content they are about to view. This allows parents and caregivers to make informed choices on the content to which their children are exposed,” said FPB acting chief executive officer at the time, Abongile Mashele.
So this update has been a long time coming though we should point out that all that’s really changing here is how age restrictions are conveyed to you the user.
“Our work with the Film and Publications Board is part of our wider efforts to give our members more control and choice. We want our members in South Africa to have the information they need to make informed entertainment choices for themselves and their families,” a Netflix spokesperson told Hypertext via email.
In addition to the FPB classification, you can also see content advisory guidelines on the movie or series’ page. These include things like whether the content has strong language, violence or any other content folks may not want to see or hear.
While it’s not a massive change it’s good to see that Netflix is working to abide by local guidelines and rules.