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New UK ISP gives websites age ratings

Tibboh lets parents pick from U, PG, 12, 15 or 18

A new mobile broadband ISP is offering a classification system for websites based on age ratings currently given to films. 

Tibboh worked with the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) to create the ratings system. Parents simply select from the level of classification they require, choosing from U, PG, 12, 15 or 18.

The ISP uses Netsweeper and other internet filters to identify which classification a website should fall into and then blocks it if necessary.

Tibboh currently only offers a 3G broadband and a PC must use this connection only to ensure the classifications are implemented, as Tibboh's service won't override other broadband connections.

Under the classification, Twitter, Google, Bing and Facebook have been given a rating of '12' despite the fact that Facebook's own minimum age limit for using the service is 13.

News websites such as the BBC and The Guardian are deemed to be suitable for all and given a U classification, while blogging sites Blogger and Wordpress are rated at 15.

Tibboh says around three billion websites have already been classified under its system. The ISP also revealed that those using U or PG filters won't be able to access sites that have not yet been classified.

"Search engines are great but at the 'U' and 'P' level we found so many results and sponsored links that were inappropriate," said Tibboh MD Phil Dawson told the BBC.

Tibboh's broadband package is priced at £19.99 and comes with a 15GB data cap.

See also: 25% of 8 to 12 year olds have a social networking profile

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