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Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal

Abstract

This article summarizes the creation and workings of the TV Parental Guidelines and the Oversight Monitoring Board, potential First Amendment issues of a required rating system, and possible solutions to the problems of the current rating system. The TV Parental Guidelines and the Oversight Monitoring Board were created to fulfill requirements of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The TV Parental Guidelines are meant to empower parents to control the content viewed by their children with useful ratings. However, the accuracy of ratings and understanding of the system are limited. Further, the complaint process is complex, with little authority to enforce any decisions. Taking into account First Amendment concerns, this article finishes with possible solutions to deficiencies of the TV Parental Guidelines and the functioning of the Oversight Monitoring Board.

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