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Lax media regulation will harm minors

02/10/2018

Parliament's greelight for new EU audiovisual directive will expose harmful content to vulnerable viewers

Lax media regulation will harm minors

A European Parliament vote that will exempt Video Sharing Platforms (VSP) such as YouTube from the same broadcasting standards as linear TV services has been criticised for endangering minors by exposing them to harmful content.

Under new proposals, VSP - which would include Facebook - will be allowed to self-regulate in what they broadcast, whilst traditional and other online audio-visual media services will be bound by stricter guidelines. That means editorial responsibility for VSP will be industry self-regulated. The same principle applies to accessibility for people with disabilities.

Critics argue that the audiovisual media services directive (AVMSD) is a huge missed opportunity in creating a level playing field by bringing VSPs in line with linear channels.

Concerns over advertising

In addition, the proposals will further loosen advertising and product placement rules across all broadcasting medium, meaning vulnerable viewers as well as the general public could potentially be exposed to more junk food and fizzy drink adverts than before.

Commenting on this morning’s vote in the European Parliament - proposals put forward by two MEPs who also belong to the German broadcasting regulator - GUE/NGL’s Nikolaos Chountis (Popular Unity, Greece) deplores the liberalisation of the media regulations:

“Video sharing platforms (VSP) are the big winners today.”

“We voted against because of the exemptions VSP will have in broadcast responsibilities to minors and the disabled - and this puts VSP at an advantage over traditional and other online video services.”

“Much more needs to be done to curb an easing of advertising, teleshopping and product placement rules across the board as well,” he said.

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