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Why you can trust an ICRA label

The ICRA system encourages content providers (webmasters) to self-label. That is, it is the content providers themselves that add their own ICRA label to their sites declaring what types of content are present or absent.

What is to prevent a content provider mislabelling? Can you trust an ICRA label? Yes. Please read on...

How ICRA's labels are checked automatically

I-Config ICRA works in collaboration with i-config to visit sites within our database periodically and, as far as possible using an automated system, to verify whether the labels found are valid. i-config is a research group within the Software and Knowledge Engineering Laboratory at the Greek National Centre for Scientific Research (NCSR "Demokritos") in Athens.

As well as verifying that sites listed in the ICRA database exist and that labels found are correct from a technical point of view, an automatic analysis of the site is carried out using the Filterix® analyser. This is an artificial intelligence system that has been "trained" to generate one of a limited set of ICRA labels depending on the outcome of its analysis of a site. If the analyser's result and the label found are very different, ICRA staff are alerted and the procedure outlined below is activated.

A goal of the collaboration between i-config and ICRA is to increase the variety and accuracy of the "pseudo labels" generated.

Mislabelled site procedure

In ICRA's experience, deliberate and persistent mislabelling is extremely rare, however, a number of steps are taken when such sites are found or reported through the formal complaints mechanism.

If ICRA identifies, or is notified by a third party, that a content provider has clearly and unambiguously used an ICRA label inappropriately*, the following procedure will come into effect. Each stage assumes that the previous action was unsuccessful and that the inappropriate label persists.

  1. ICRA will attempt to contact the content provider and ask them to alter or remove the label.
  2. ICRA's Chief Executive Officer will take up the case and use such means as are available to contact the content provider and insist that the label is altered or removed.
  3. The Executive Committee of the organization will review the case and decide on the most appropriate course of action. The Terms and Conditions under which ICRA labels are used, whether generated on the ICRA website or elsewhere, are extensive and allow for a variety of means to be used, including legal redress.
  4. ICRA may publish details of the website/resource and include it in a template block list for use in filtering software such as ICRAfilter and Microsoft Internet Explorer.

* Inappropriate means that a website is labelled as containing content that is not present or vice-versa. For example, a site that declares "none of the above" in the nudity and sexual material section, and yet clearly contains images, descriptions or portrayals of one or more of the elements identified in that section of the ICRA questionnaire. ICRA may call on members of its Advisory Council or other independent experts to resolve disputes over whether a label is appropriate or not.

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