Wisbech leader is a young campaigner

Wisbech young campaigner joins Girlguiding calls to stop harmful content online.

Advocate campaigner

 A Wisbech young woman has joined calls to protect young people from harmful and sexualised content in the mainstream media.

Mathilde Tranter, 16, Leader of the 1st Leverington Rainbows, joined with other young Girlguiding campaigners over the weekend of 24-25 January to call for politicians to promise to bring print and online media in line with TV watershed rules.

The group of campaigners, or Advocates, is the driving force behind Girlguiding’s Girls Matter campaign, eight calls for change that girls want to see from politicians*. One of the calls asks MPs to stop children’s exposure to harmful sexualised content in the mainstream media.

The eighteen young Girlguiding Advocates were joined by David Austin OBE from the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) who gave a talk on film classification and a new pilot scheme to rate music videos on sites such as YouTube.

Mathilde, who attends Spalding High School, said: “It was awesome to meet David Austin; he was really interesting and taught us a lot about how age ratings on music videos could work.

It is important to have age ratings on music videos to protect young people from harmful content which can so easily influence their behaviour.”

David Austin said: “It’s excellent to see young people engaging with the debate around harmful and sexualised content on the internet. At our last review of the BBFC Classification Guidelines, in 2013, we spoke to more than 10,000 people, including over 1,000 teenagers to get their views on film and video content.

 “Among other things, respondents highlighted music videos containing sexualised imagery, self-harm, drug use and violence as a concern, with focus groups saying they would like to see BBFC style age ratings on this type of content.

“We are now working with the three major UK record labels; Sony Music UK, Universal Music UK and Warner Music UK; and online video platforms Vevo and YouTube, to test how BBFC age ratings could be applied to music videos available online, to allow young people and their parents to choose appropriate content.”

Girlguiding’s Girls’ Attitudes Survey has found that 85 per cent of young women aged 17 to 21 agree that the government has a role to play in making sure the media represent women fairly.

Mathilde is a member of the Girlguiding Advocate panel, a group of young women between 14 and 25 appointed to give girls a voice on the issues they care about.

To find out more about Girls Matter visit www.girlsmatter.org.uk

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