Chloe M. O'Connor | Layout, Illustration, and Freelance Design

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Content Management and the FCC

Multichannel News, Sept. 1, 2009, reported that the Federal Communication Commission said yes to adopting a report on different technologies used for video content management.

The report, released to the public Aug. 31, includes “current and proposed technologies,” but the FCC said the report does not fully answer certain questions about consumer awareness and the speed of the creation of such technologies.

This 80-plus-page report was written in response to the Child Safe Viewing Act of 2007 Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) proposed in February 2007. The Senate passed the bill in November 2008 and Former President George W. Bush signed the bill the next month. Pryor called the FCC out on their failure to follow up their promise to regulate new technologies that provide parental content control for televisions, the Internet and other media outlets.

For the FCC to acknowledge this act, nearly two years after its proposal, a new frontier of home content management may be on the horizon. People have had the ability to block content for years now. I used to babysit for families who would block every channel that showed anything racier than Barney. I think families have become less concerned with spending time on blocking content, though. They don’t want to take the time to learn how to do it, so it doesn’t happen.

You may or may not know my opinion on the matter of blocking content. Ignoring my opinion if you know it, it’s interesting that the FCC is now making it their job (after they promised to start doing it in 1996) to help families understand the technologies they can bring into their homes. The FCC will make it easier for people to be aware of the possibilities surrounding new and future parental media controls.

What’s most interesting is the idea of families managing media content. What do they want to see, and what don’t they want to see? Video content management does not have to be used just to protect innocent eyes. People can block channels they just plain don’t care about. I don’t like Bravo; OK, I’ll block it. Will I be limiting my views by blocking Bravo? Advertisers who might want to reach me won’t get the chance, because when I’m channel surfing, Bravo won’t even appear. (I actually really enjoy Bravo, by the way!)

I’m interested to see if 1) the FCC holds true to their new heavier hand in the matter, and 2)how this changes the already quickly changing world of media, especially TV and the Internet.

Filed under: News

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