Triggering content targeted in film classifications

·1-min read
Mick Tsikas/AAP PHOTOS

Films containing "triggering" content such as bullying and self-harm will be classified differently after overwhelming public feedback to modernise standards.

Almost 85 per cent of people think consumer advice should be given for content people might find distressing, according to a government department survey conducted last year.

The Australian Classification Board has updated its advice and will provide information to viewers if a movie includes themes such as bullying, suicide, or self-harm along with disturbing content including blood and gore.

Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said the board would provide the additional consumer advice even if it was not the most impactful element of a film.

It means, for example, an MA 15+ film featuring violence along with M-level blood and gore would be listed as MA 15+ and contain warnings for both elements of disturbing content.

"The survey showed us that Australians value the classification scheme, but want more information about what they watch," Ms Rowland said.

"This updated advice will ensure there are no surprises and help adults make informed decisions about the content that they, and those in their care, consume."

Classification Board director Fiona Jolly agreed modernising the warning allowed viewers to make better-informed choices.

"The updated consumer advice is being applied by the board when making decisions to better reflect contemporary community standards," she said.

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