Recently, we have heard in many places in the classic “Belpest” and “Buda” intellectual discourses what films, contents, and series children watch with or without the consent of their parents. These conversations were largely generated by the series Squid Game, which appeared on Netflix, as for some reason a lot of young people want to watch this series. This issue has many social but also a few legal implications. In this article, we want to go around this topic, moreover, a bit unusual from the Legisly content, as we are not just dealing with legal issues here.
The direct trigger for writing this article was when one of the mornings on Radio 1, Balázsék started talking about the Squid Game and whether it was good for the children to watch such content. That’s when we “grabbed a pen” and started going around this topic. A few days ago, the BBC also dealt with the subject in connection with the Squid Game, where it was noted that children in British schools had started playing the games when they were seen in the series. The same was brought down by Euronews .
Well, for the first time, if we don’t want to be hypocritical, we know that the 18th hoop is most noticeable to many just because the color red is more disturbing to our eyes than its much more discreet yellowish hue counterparts. Based on this, it is perhaps not so surprising that we do not notice that children also often see content that they may not have understood.
A Squid Game “Problems”
1. Law as an inappropriate tool to “regulate” age-restricted films and series
We often say that the law is necessarily lagging behind and always just keeps pace with social change. This feature of the law is particularly striking due to advances in technology.
While families already had a landline phone and a color television (and we were already past Monday’s break), the need arose to keep children from watching sexual content, killer scenes, and horror. Maybe it’s the scene where Mom covers the child’s eyes at the kissing parts, or the scene where the family moves nervously at an approaching bed scene. Well, at that time, perhaps regulation could have been the real solution, but it is certainly not the same today.
At a time when we find an iPad in a child’s hand at the age of 3 and take a phone to school at the age of three, it’s virtually impossible to lock the world away from them. After all, little ones often handle the phone better than dad and browse youtube faster than mom …
Even if parents can convince their child of how to “use” their smart gadgets, one of their classmates is sure to show them something they wouldn’t be happy about at home.
Of course, in such a world, the responsibility of a parent is enormous and it is often difficult to judge whether it is good to keep something out of the reach of a child or whether it has a negative effect on his or her development. However, the Squid Game raised a number of questions.
2. Protection of minors – age rating
Although the “Squid Game issue” cannot be resolved by legal means alone, there are, of course, rules in place that can be relied on. However, both the law and the authorities naturally have the means to protect children, such as age rating. The classification of cinema films is carried out by the National Film Office in the framework of an official procedure, but the age rating of television programs is provided by the media service providers themselves. In connection with television programs, the media service provider may request the assistance of the National Media and Communications Authority in connection with the preliminary classification, and in the course of their work they shall act taking into account the classification recommendation of the Authority. The age rating for the protection of minors is as follows: there are no-limit, six, twelve, sixteen, and eighteen-ring content that can be seen on the screen.
However, it is clear that because someone sees a number in a ring on a TV screen, it may not yet have a deterrent effect on them (especially not for a young person). Also, we often don’t even think of the child being in the room when we watch an age-restricted movie.
In addition to the above, service providers, whether television or radio, should ensure that they do not display excluded content (for example, violent or sexual) during the day, with the appropriate age rating. Of course, the purpose of this article is not to describe the detailed rules, so we will not go into the analysis of this.
3. Questions about Netflix, HBO GO and other streaming providers
Netflix, HBO GO, and similar streaming providers have advanced protection systems and parents can easily control what content children have access to. On the HBO GO, for example, we also have a child lock function, which can be a suitable protection. Here, of course, there is a huge responsibility on the part of the parents, as they may miss out on the right settings, not only due to malice, negligence, but also due to technical incompetence. Of course, providers are “leading parents’ hands, ”but it’s definitely worth keeping an eye out as kids watch more and more content about these interfaces and, of course, Youtube as well.
4. Questions about content on Youtube
Almost every household has at least 2-3 devices that a child can access and start pushing on Youtube. Always pay attention to the right settings and do not underestimate your child’s abilities. This is because we can be almost certain that children are better able to navigate the maze of the video sharing site than many parents. Youtube has also developed a special solution for this, Youtube Kids and of course this company is doing everything it can to keep children safe. However, this does not reduce the responsibility of parents to download the appropriate applications or apply settings.
5. Provisions on content related to homosexuality and homosexuality
While not closely related to the Squid Game theme, it’s important to cover some of the new rules as well. Under the new rules, programs “that portray sexuality as self-serving, propagating homosexuality, or altering birth gender” will be marked with an 18th ring. “Due to their age, the protected age group has little or no ability to interpret this content, so access to such content may be detrimental to their image of themselves or the world.”
6. Conclusion on the “problems” of the Squid Game
The purpose of this article was to make parents think and, if they are themselves subscribers to streaming services, to set up the appropriate protection options. The Squid Game magnified a symptom to which many responded in a variety of ways. Of course, every child and age is unique. The child cannot and should not be protected from the effects of the world, but let us always be aware and take a few minutes at home on such issues.