The Kingdom of the Netherlands 🇳🇱 (informally and colloquially known as Holland) is a European country which practices Christianity. It is part of the European Union.

General censorship[]

Films and television shows are regulated by the Netherlands Institute for the Classification of Audiovisual Media (Nederlands Instituut voor de Classificatie van Audiovisuele Media, NICAM), founded in 1999 in close cooperation with the ministries of Education Culture and Science (OCW), Public health, Welbeing and Sport (VWS) and Justice. The NICAM had an initial coordinating role in the founding of Kijkwijzer, which was officially accepted by the government in 2000 and became a law on 22 February 2001. The NICAM also evaluated computer and video game software for the newly-founded Pan European Game Information (PEGI).

Book censorship[]

  • Dick Bos - This detective comic strip was banned twice. The first ban was in 1942, during the Nazi occupation, because the author, Alfred Mazure, did not want to turn the comic into a Nazi propaganda strip. Three years after, the comic strip was banned again was in 1944, after the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science Theo Rutten sent a circular among schools to discourage distribution of "violent comics". As a result, many comics in the Netherlands were only allowed if published in text comics format (which still allowed children to read more) and if the content was child-friendly, forcing Mazure to quit Dick Bos, due to the lack of interest from newspapers and magazines. However, the ban lifted when media censorship against comics loosened between 1963 and 1967, leading Mazure to draw new adventures of Dick Bos.
  • Mein Kampf - This book is unofficially banned for obviously being Adolf Hitler's manifesto. As Dutch law does not allow for the ban of the book, the government has since claimed its copyright. While it is illegal to print, sell or buy the book, the ownership of it is still legal.
  • The Cover-up General - this non-fiction thriller by Edwin Giltay was banned by court order in 2015 as a former spy of Dutch military intelligence claimed she was described falsely in this Srebrenica book. Ban lifted by the Court of Appeal of The Hague in 2016.

Internet censorship[]

  • Most popular torrenting websites (1337x, The Pirate Bay + most popular proxies) are banned in the Netherlands, due to distributing copyrighted content.

Movie censorship[]

In the Netherlands, films are rated by the Netherlands Institute for the Classification of Audiovisual Media (Nederlands Instituut voor de Classificatie van Audiovisuele Media, NICAM), through the Kijkwijzer ("watching indicator" or "watch wiser"; Literally: "viewing guide") system. Under Dutch law, children are admitted to films carrying an age rating if accompanied by an adult except for "16" and "18" rated films, in accordance of Article 240A of the Wetboek van Strafrecht. For the latter, people must give proof of their age before being admitted.

Rating Name Description
Kijkwijzer AL.svg AL - Alle leeftijden All ages
Kijkwijzer 6.svg 6 - Mogelijk schadelijk tot 6 jaar Potentially harmful to children under 6 years.
Kijkwijzer 9.svg 9 - Mogelijk schadelijk tot 9 jaar Potentially harmful to children under 9 years.
Kijkwijzer 12.svg 12 - Mogelijk schadelijk tot 12 jaar Potentially harmful to children under 12 years; broadcasting not allowed before 8:00 PM.
Kijkwijzer 14.svg 14 - Mogelijk schadelijk tot 14 jaar Potentially harmful to children under 14 years; broadcasting not allowed before 8:00 PM.
Kijkwijzer 16.svg 16 - Mogelijk schadelijk tot 16 jaar Potentially harmful to (and not allowed for) children under 16 years; broadcasting not allowed before 8:00 PM.
Dutch rating 18.svg 18 -Mogelijk schadelijk tot 18 jaar Potentially hamful to (and not allowed for) children under 18 years; broadcasting not allowed before midnight.

Before the revamping of the rating system in January 2020, it had no true "adult" rating; the highest rating was 16, and the age one is considered an adult (age of majority) in the country is 18. This meant that even pornography prior to 2020 is released with a 16 rating (and on one occasion with the Bible Black series a 12 rating). However, actors/models in pornography still have to be 18 to participate, the legal age for acting and modeling in pornography in the Netherlands was raised from 16 to 18 in October 2002. Kijkwikzer's 18 rating was originally abandoned around the late 1970s. Movies such as Deep Throat and Last Tango in Paris were originally given an 18 rating before its abandonment.

  • Kijkwijzer is tame with coarse language alone. Using it alone can only result in a film being passed AL (which would mean all ages admitted). While the descriptors for sex, discrimination, and drug/alcohol abuse, if used, are always resulting in a classification of 12 or higher.
  • Nudity in a non-sexual context isn't a deciding factor according to Kijkwijzer since there is no evidence that nudity is obscene or harmful to youth.

There are also six descriptor icons used:

Icon Content description
Kijkwijzer Geweld Violence (Geweld)
Kijkwijzer Angst Fear (Angst)
Kijkwijzer Seks Sexual Content (Seks)
Kijkwijzer Discriminatie Discrimination (Discriminatie)
Kijkwijzer Drugs en Alcoholmisbruik Drug and/or Alcohol abuse (Drugs- en/of alcoholmisbruik)
Kijkwijzer Grof taalgebruik Bad Language (Grof taalgebruik)

Mostly, these icons are used along with other symbols, displaying if a film contains violence, sexual content, frightening scenes, drug or alcohol abuse, discrimination or coarse language. These symbols are also used in television channels broadcasting under licence issued in the Netherlands (independent from country for which the channel are dedicated).

Instances of movie censorship[]

  • Scram! - This Laurel and Hardy movie was banned on its initial release because of a scene where Laurel and Hardy sit on a bed with a woman to whom they were not married, which censors felt that it was "indecent". Today the film is not banned.
  • A Serbian Film - This film is banned due to being considered child pornography in many countries, including the Netherlands.
  • Maladolescenza - This film is banned in the country since 25 March 2010, as the court of Alkmaar classified several scenes as child pornography. This ruling means that possessing, distributing and knowingly accessing to this film is prohibited.

Television censorship[]

Like for films, television shows are also rated with the Kijkwijzer system.

  • SMS contests and phone-in game shows are prohibited since November 2007 for being considered unlawful gambling.

Video game censorship[]

In the Netherlands, as much for most of Europe, video games are rated by the Pan European Game Information (PEGI), whose ratings and content descriptors were based on the Kijkwijzer rating system.

  • Pokémon Duel - while not officially banned, support for the game in the country dropped after the Dutch Kansspelautoriteit (the Dutch Gambling Authority) looked into the game due to its lootbox mechanics (same law as the phone-in game shows).
  • Pokémon Masters EX - this game is unavailable for download in the Netherlands due to its lootbox mechanics.
  • Roblox - Experiences where the user can spend Robux to get random items are treated to be lootbox mechanics and are not available to residents of the Netherlands.

External links[]