VidAngel Cleans Up Movie Night

Somewhere in the state of Idaho, four brothers are working hard to help individuals and families keep control of their own moral code.

Neal, Daniel, Jeffrey, and Jordan Harmon are the brains behind VidAngel, a service that digitally flags potentially objectionable content in films and TV shows so viewers can remove or allow specific instances of those elements before they watch.

Intrigued? Here’s how it works. Once you complete your free registration atVidAngel.com, you gain access to the site’s growing selection of 700-plus films and TV shows available for purchase. Choose one and VidAngel generates a listing of elements that its team has flagged as potentially offensive. Categories include language, sex and nudity, alcohol or drug use, violence and gore, and “other negative elements.” You choose to “Show” or “Remove” each of those elements based on your own standards. Making these choices is a thought-provoking exercise, since you have to give very specific direction to get the results you want.

Once you’ve chosen your settings, click to purchase the show and stream it to your computer or to a number of compatible devices such as AppleTV, iPad, and more.

The Harmon brothers, who are people of faith, are clear that they didn’t create this service to help people adapt obviously adult content for children. So, Game of Thrones with your 10-year-old? Um, no. Not even with filters in place.

Nor is VidAngel intended to “Christianize” objectionable entertainment. The brothers say, rather pointedly, “If the content of the movie as a whole is against your standards, don’t use VidAngel to justify watching it.” But if you’d rather not hear 19 instances of the “f-word” in an otherwise laudable film, the Harmon boys are there for you.

Note: VidAngel is a work in progress. The site instructions can be a bit unclear—a situation that definitely needs to be addressed—but customer service is very responsive.

About the Author

Sandy Swartzentruber serves as the resource coordinator for Faith Formation Ministries and is a member of Sherman Street CRC in Grand Rapids, Mich.

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