Initiate or apply for the indexing of a medium harmful to minors

Service Description

The Federal Agency for the Protection of Children and Young Persons in the Media (BzKJ) operates a test center for media harmful to minors and maintains a list of media harmful to minors. Indexing on this list is intended to prevent children and young people from being confronted with media that are harmful to minors. Media are harmful to minors if they are likely to

  • the development of children and young people or
  • jeopardize their education to become responsible and socially competent individuals.

Certain media that are harmful to minors must be indexed in accordance with the German Youth Protection Act (JuSchG):

  • media with a brutalizing effect,
  • media that incite violence,
  • media inciting to crime,
  • media inciting racial hatred,
  • self-serving, detailed depictions of violence,
  • suggestion of vigilante justice,
  • immoral media;

In addition, the following media and content are harmful to minors:

  • Media that violate human dignity,
  • Discrimination against groups of people,
  • glorification of National Socialism,
  • glorification of drug use,
  • glorification of excessive alcohol consumption,
  • Suggestion of self-harming behavior,
  • endangering personal integrity;

If the BzKJ review board decides to index a medium, it publishes this in the specialist journal "BzKJ aktuell" or in a non-public list. Indexing is also published in the Federal Gazette. From then on, far-reaching restrictions apply depending on the medium.

The indexing of a medium can only be applied for or suggested by authorized bodies in accordance with the Youth Protection Act. This includes authorities and independent youth welfare organizations. In the case of an application for indexing, the review body must take action. In the case of a suggestion, the review body itself can decide whether to take action.

Private individuals can submit neither an application nor a suggestion to the BzKJ. If you as a private individual consider a medium to be harmful to minors, you can contact numerous authorities, such as the youth welfare office, the school or the police in your municipality.

The consequences of indexing depend on the type of media.

Carrier media:

  • Are media with texts, images or sounds that are distributed by passing on objects, for example:
    • Books and notebooks,
    • Data storage devices such as CDs and DVDs,
    • audio or video cassettes,
    • posters and billboards;
  • indexed media
    • may not be offered, made available or made accessible to children and young people,
    • may only be distributed, sold, presented or advertised to a very limited extent,
    • may not be shown as telemedia if children and young people could then have access to it.

Telemedia:

  • are data offerings of texts, images and sounds that are transmitted electronically, for example:
    • Homepages and Internet search engines,
    • chat rooms and online games,
    • Television text and teleshopping,
    • movie files on video platforms (video-on-demand).
  • Indexed telemedia may not be played in a place that is accessible to children and young people.
  • Further restrictions, such as a ban on distribution or advertising, are possible.

Broadcasting:

  • Radio and television are considered broadcasting.
  • Indexed media may generally not be broadcast there.
  • Details are regulated by the Interstate Treaty on the Protection of Minors in the Media (JMStV)

Under certain conditions, regularly published media can also be indexed for a period of up to twelve months in advance, i.e. for several issues.

Indexing a medium does not lead to an absolute ban. This means that adults continue to have access to these media. The BzKJ ratings provide parents and media education professionals with guidance on which media content violates the socio-ethical values and which educational goals are at risk.

In the case of indexing, the fundamental rights of third parties must be taken into account, such as freedom of art and freedom of expression.

If you would like to check whether a particular medium has already been indexed and included in the public or non-public list, you can send a query to the BzKJ in writing or by e-mail.

For Internet sites, you can contact the Commission for the Protection of Minors in the Media (KJM) or an Internet complaints office. The KJM is the central supervisory authority for private broadcasting and the Internet and can initiate an indexing procedure with the BzKJ.

Source: Zuständigkeitsfinder Thüringen (Linie6PLus)

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