Singapore, 1 March 2006 – The three mobile operators - M1, Singtel and StarHub – today announced the launch of a voluntary code to self-regulate mobile content in Singapore. The initiative is in response to concerns about minors having easy access to undesirable content on their mobile phones.
Jointly developed by the three mobile operators, the code provides a common framework for the development and marketing of mobile content. It works on the general principle that mobile content should be consistent with material that is available on an unrestricted basis from other mainstream media to the general public. In line with this, content that depicts sex, explicit nudity and extreme violence or incites racial and religious intolerance is expressly prohibited. Details are posted on the respective websites of the mobile operators.
The code applies to content provided by mobile operators and those provided by third party content operators that have contractual arrangements with the mobile operators. While mobile operators have no control over content from the Internet, they offer the option of disabling GPRS access for minors.
In introducing the code, mobile operators wish to assure the public of their commitment and support in protecting our young against undesirable mobile content. The three mobile operators will also jointly set up a compliance review committee to ensure that the guidelines continue to be effective and relevant over time.
M1’s Chief Executive Officer, Neil Montefiore, said: “M1 took the initiative to introduce internal guidelines to regulate mobile content more than a year ago in the interest of our customers. This has worked well in ensuring that content originating from M1 and our content partners are free from material that may be considered offensive. I am glad M1 has been able to work with the other mobile operators to put in place a largely similar set of content guidelines that are now available on an industry wide basis for the benefit of all mobile users in Singapore.”
Singtel’s Vice President of Consumer Marketing, Thomas Yeo, said: “Singtel is pleased to work with fellow industry players, regulators and parents to keep media content wholesome. As a home-grown telco, we have always looked after the interests of our customers and the community at large. We welcome this initiative as it aligns the respective content regulation guidelines that the various industry players already have in place. This will result in consistent standards on publicly acceptable media content that will certainly be appreciated by consumers, providers and producers of content alike.”
StarHub’s Head of Commercial, Mike Reynolds, said: “StarHub has always been diligent in ensuring that our content, whether it is on our mobile, Internet or cable TV platforms, does not contain material that is undesirable or offensive to consumers. We believe that by developing this voluntary code, we can set the public's minds at ease, and create an example for other socially responsible companies to follow."