Content descriptors

Several classification schemes of rating bodies use content descriptors to give additional information about the content and reason for a specific age rating. Content descriptors can be useful for Parental Control Systems, giving parents the choice about what kind of content they decide is suitable for their minors.

Content descriptors are based on the MIRACLE data model backed by the European Union.

While age rating with a “number” is mandatory to allow Parental Control Systems (PCS) the decision on whether to block a website or single webpage or not, content descriptors are recommended to improve the possibilities of PCS and give parents more choices. Nevertheless, the block <content‐descriptors> is not mandatory.


How to install content descriptors? Use the label generator!

The easiest way to install content descriptors is to use our label generator (see: "Tools"). The generator will include content descriptors in the age.xml and in age-xx.xml if necessary, and will also generate a MIRACLE file containing the descriptors.


Content descriptors by hand

To allow Parental Control Systems to use content descriptors, you should use the content descriptors from MIRACLE standard that are already pre-defined. If necessary, you can also add custom content descriptors. Pre-defined are

  • Sex / eroticism / nudeness  <cd-sexuality-exist>
  • Violence / weapons / blood  <cd-violence-exist>
  • Discrimination / racism / hate speech   <cd-discrimination-exist>
  • Obscene language / bad language / cursing   <cd-cursing-exist>
  • Drugs / tobacco / alcohol  <cd-drugs-exist>
  • Fear / shock  <cd-fear-exist>
  • Gambling  <cd-gambling-exist>

Content descriptors should only be used if the content was a reason for the age rating. Examples: If a bottle of beer is shown in a movie but this had no effect of the age rating, the content descriptor “drugs” should NOT be set true. If there is an impressive love scene in a movie and that was the reason to decide in favour of a higher age rating, the content descriptor “sexuality” must be set true.

All content descriptors are not mandatory. If a type of content does not exist, you can either not show the descriptor or set it to false. If you decide on “false” there should be no content of this type on the website, even if this was not the reason for the age rating.

It is possible to give a description of the marked content (short text) and to include an URL to an icon. Both are not mandatory.


Custom content descriptors

Using <cd-other> tags you can include your own content descriptors. Using a class, e.g. <cd-add class=”self-harm”>, you must provide a name for the custom content descriptors. See the example below to learn how it is used.

Be aware that common Parental Control Systems will not be able to process your custom content descriptor in a reasonable way unless you have talked to them.


Open text content descriptors

Using <cd‐opentext> tag you can include a short text explaining the content and the age rating. This text may be used by Parental Control Systems e.g. as an informational text on blocking pages. See example to learn how opentext content descriptors are used.


Example of an age.xml block <content‐descriptors>

      <cd-violence-desc>some text</cd-violence-desc>
      <cd-add class=”self-harm”>
   <cd-opentext class=”infotext”>
      <cd-opentext-desc>Online-Game … some text</cd-opentext-desc>


Note: Feature descriptors work in a similar way, see section "feature descriptors".