Platform for Internet Content Selection

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The Platform for Internet Content Selection (PICS) was a specification created by W3C that used metadata to label webpages to help parents and teachers control what children and students could access on the Internet. The W3C Protocol for Web Description Resources project integrates PICS concepts with RDF. PICS was superseded by POWDER, which itself is no longer actively developed. [1] PICS often used content labeling from the Internet Content Rating Association, which has also been discontinued by the Family Online Safety Institute's board of directors. [2] An alternative self-rating system, named Voluntary Content Rating,[3] was devised by Solid Oak Software in 2010, in response to the perceived complexity of PICS.[4]

Internet Explorer 3 was one of the early web browsers to offer support for PICS, released in 1996. Internet Explorer 5 added a feature called approved sites, that allowed extra sites to be added to the list in addition to the PICS list when it was being used.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Platform for Internet Content Selection (PICS) home page
  2. ^ ICRA Home Page, Family Online Safety Institute, retrieved 2014-01-25
  3. ^ Weinberg, Jonathan (1997). "Rating the Net". Hastings Comm/Ent L.J. 19: 453. Retrieved 2015-09-15. The Voluntary Content Rating self-rating system promoted by CYBERSitter is almost the model of a standard; it offers as its only guidance the instructions that self-raters should determine whether their sites are "not suitable for children under the age of 13," and whether they include material "intended for an audience 18 years of age or older."
  4. ^ Voluntary Content Rating
  5. ^ New Features in Internet Explorer 5, Microsoft Knowledgebase Article Q221787

Further reading[edit]