New Research Reveals Kids’ Summer of Illegal Downloads is a Disturbing Sight for Young Eyes

Tina Hobley_FindAnyFilm_2

At a time when concerns around the content that children are accessing online have never been higher, new research among 1,000 UK 11-15-year-olds reveals children and teens are downloading or streaming films from pirate websites, with one in five disturbed by the content they are viewing. 

· 25% children and teens download from unofficial sources
· One in five disturbed by content they’ve watched via illegal sites
· Half spending two hours each day watching films via smartphones and tablets
· Tina Hobley (actress from Holby City) shares parenting tips to help keep children safe this summer.

The new research, research commissioned by The Industry Trust for IP Awareness, in partnership with the British Board of Film Classification, shows a quarter of children and teens download films illegally. This is because on illegal sites, films don’t have age restrictions, so 11 – 15 year olds are watching 18+ movies without realising.

Tina Hobley, is fronting a new campaign to help parents protect their children from this.

– One in five children and teens disturbed by content they have watched via illegal sites
– Half spending an hour each day watching films via smartphones and tablets over the summer
Parents encouraged to take advantage of free digital tools to keep kids legal and safe online

Holby City actress and mum of three, Tina Hobley is urging parents to keep an eye on what their kids are watching online this summer, as new research released today reveals children and teens across the country are downloading or streaming films from illegal pirate websites, with many disturbed by what they are viewing.

One in five young film fans (18%) admit they have been disturbed by the movies they have watched on pirate websites and two thirds (65%) wish they had checked the film’s official age rating first.

While almost half of children and teens (42%) admit to being aware of rules in place at home designed to restrict what they can and can’t look at on the internet, the research commissioned by The Industry Trust for IP Awareness, in partnership with the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), shows a quarter (25%) download or stream movies from unofficial sources, which offer no guidance on age ratings.

The online study asked 1,000 UK 11-15-year-olds about their online viewing habits:

· A third (37%) of younger children aged 11-12 admit to having recently downloaded or streamed a film rated 15 from a pirate website
· One in five 11-15 year olds (21%) say they use pirate websites to keep up with what their friends and older siblings are watching
· More than a quarter of 11-15 year olds (27%) say their parents don’t know what films they are watching online, and a third (32%) wouldn’t  feel comfortable with younger siblings copying their viewing habits

With nearly half (45%) of 11-15 year olds spending up to an hour each day watching movies-on-the-move via smartphones and tablets during the summer holidays, parents are being encouraged to take advantage of free tools and advice to help them take control of what their children are watching and to visit to find films safely and legally online.

Actress and mum of three, Tina Hobley, said:

“As a mum, I know how excited my kids get at the thought of watching the movies they love during the holidays, but I also know how tough it is to keep tabs on what they are downloading or streaming online.  This research shows peer pressure is tempting kids to visit illegal websites for their film fixes even though they know these websites are off limits, and many are clearly upset by the content they stumble upon.  Portable smartphones and tablet devices mean children and teens will often be watching films away from the safety of the front room this summer, which is why I’m urging parents to know how to access film and TV content online safely and legally, and check out the tools and help that are available.”

Responding to the research, Lucy Brett, Head of Education for the BBFC, said:

“There is a wealth of free digital tools and advice available for parents and children to take advantage of so they feel confident about their family accessing films safely and legally online., the easy-to-use gateway to legitimate film, now carries BBFC age ratings and BBFCinsight, so families know what they are accessing is not only from above board and safe sources, but that they have at their fingertips information which allows parents to make informed decisions about the right film choices for them and their families.”

“BBFCinsight highlights the main issues found in a film then expands on this, giving examples of the sorts of things you will see or hear, which may include violence, bad language and sex references. Parents can use or the BBFC website and free BBFC App for smartphones for information about a film before they download or stream them. Having this information available all in one place and talking to your children about how films are rated can help them stay safe and legal online this summer.”

Liz Bales, Director General of the Industry Trust for IP Awareness, added:

“Public concern around what children are watching online has never been higher, making age-appropriate guidance even more critical. The film and TV industry believes education has a role to play. We provide tools to educate families around legitimate and age-appropriate source of film and enable parents and guardians to talk to their children to help them navigate the online landscape safely and legally.”

For more information about watching films safely and legally and to find recognised ratings and BBFCinsight information, visit

Posted by Amy Moylan


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