Monday, 16 October 2017 15:45

How Do We "Filter"?

Written by  Bob Crittendon
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Perhaps you are aware of the previously contentious nature of the relationship between the VidAngel filtering service and various studios.  VidAngel has re-launched after being shut down, after an “injunction was obtained” by Disney, Fox, and Warner.  In the old system, according to the Deadline website, “VidAngel cracked the encryption on discs, then sold and repurchased the content in transactions with consumers who specified edits. In effect, the sale and re-purchase created a cheap, family-friendly rental of popular films...”


VidAngel has returned with a workaround, a “revised streaming service,” as Deadline describes it.


The story reports that according to Neal Harmon, head of VidAngel, the new service, for users, will “work in conjunction with their existing streaming options, though companies like Amazon and Netflix are not directly involved in a collaboration with the filtering service.” Harmon says, “Under studio contracts with all of them, they are not allowed to authorize anyone to filter...” But, as the story points out, Harmon said, “VidAngel becomes a proxy for individuals who are permitted legally to filter content under the Family Movie Act.”


So, parents have a new option to watch popular films and other content, but in a more family-friendly way. And, apparently it is necessary. The Parents Television Council has announced a survey in which it found a “majority of original streaming content was rated TV-MA (mature audiences only). On Netflix, 65% of original/exclusive TV programming is rated TV-MA, while 1% is rated G, and 8% rated PG.”


The streaming industry is certainly changing, with competition continuing to emerge to the industry king Netflix. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney has announced “it will be pulling its movies from Netflix and will launch a Disney streaming service of its own in 2019. It also said it will launch an ESPN streaming service early next year.”


Meanwhile, family-friendly and faith-based content is the staple of the Pure Flix streaming service, which has announced expansion of its original programming, according to a press release on the Streaming Media website. The release says:


After launching the sitcom “Hitting The Breaks” last month, the company will follow that up this fall with “Hilton Head Island”, a soap opera featuring several well-known stars, and a comedic series, “Malibu Dan”.  All will debut as PureFlix Original Series.


“There’s clearly an appetite for original content in the streaming video world and we decided it was a hunger we needed to feed,” said Greg Gudorf, CEO of “Our efforts paid off; our growing subscriber base gravitates toward original series that are new, fresh and can only be seen on our platform.”


The press release says the Pure Flix streaming service has launched seven new original series over the past two years, and according to the Washington Times, announced at the end of last year that it would team up with ClearPlay, described as a “streaming service that allows users to filter out inappropriate content only when using Google Play, according to a press release.”


Gudorf said, “Working with ClearPlay enables us to further fulfill our promise of no language, sex or violence surprises with our faith and family-focused content,” adding, “A portion of our customer base — who have very strict personal guidelines on what they deem appropriate — has spoken and we’ve listened.”


There are other providers of online content to the faith community, including  Christian Cinema, Dove Channel, and Crossflix.


I want to concentrate today on the concept of filtering.  We have to make so sure that we are cautious and conscientious about what we allow to take root in our minds. Our eyes and ears are the gateways, and while it is next to impossible to completely be free from exposure to ideas and images that don’t line up with God’s standards, we have to make sure our internal filters are in place to protect our spirit from corruption.  There are areas in which we can build up ourselves, and I want to key in on three words:


A working knowledge of God’s Word - His principles, can build a firewall against inappropriate, harmful content from polluting our minds.  His living Word can enable us to reject what does not line up with His standards.  


A key to resisting temptation has to do with our position.  We have to make sure to stay away, as much as possible, from exposure to material that is counterproductive to the Christian life.  If we allow the enemy to influence us adversely, we soften our defenses and we desensitize ourselves to God’s presence.  


There is also the third word: We have to build an awareness of the presence of God, allowing His Holy Spirit to direct us and to cleanse us. He enables us to stay pure in a world that is bent on pulling us away from wholehearted devotion to Christ.




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