Surprise, surprise – Indians want censorship for Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar
- According to a survey by YouGov, 57% of Indians want the government to regulate OTT platforms.
- Over 59% of Indians also feel that OTT platforms in the country have a lot of offensive content which is unsuitable for public viewing.
- The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has reportedly held meetings with OTT heads in India to bring in certification.
“Nine in ten (91%) said content- either on TV, films or online, should be regulated by the government, either always (as said by 40%) or sometimes (51%). Men are more likely than women to say they want content to be regulated always (45% vs 34%) while women are more likely to want
However, the data was collected online by YouGov Omnibus from just a 1005 respondents, which is a very inadequate sample to draw such a conclusion.
According to YouGuv, over 59% of Indians also feel that OTT platforms in the country have a lot of offensive content which is unsuitable for public viewing. Moreover, 47% find it uncomfortable to watch some content around family.Just 30% feel that due to regulation or censorship, the quality of content will suffer.
This survey has come at a time when the Indian government is already planning regulation for OTT platforms in the country. The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting reportedly held meetings with OTT heads in India to bring in certification.
“I have sought suggestions on how to deal with this because there are regular feature films coming on OTT – good, bad and ugly. So, how to deal with this, who should monitor, who should regulate? There is no certification body for OTT platforms and likewise news portals also,” Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Minister of Information and Broadcasting told PTI in early October.
As shown by popular Indian satirise, a twitter poll had more respondents and the findings were the exact opposite to that of YouGov.
Should the Govt. regulate / censor content for online streaming platforms?— Akash Banerjee (@TheDeshBhakt) 1572672335000
There are others whose arguments are a bit more nuanced.
@_AdilHussain @businessinsider What is being defined as censorship needs to be defined as well. There are shows whi… https://t.co/EJYf7rUNmR— Ravichandran (@KrisRa27) 1573042095000
And there are those who would happily surrender freedom of expression to be on the right side of power.
@TheDeshBhakt Yes it is the need of hour. The kind of dirtiness online contents are spreading it is necessary for g… https://t.co/qYSd2y3PzO— Ragini singh (@Ragini4nation) 1572672707000
Netflix in particular has been at the receiving end of much criticism in recent months— after the second season of its popular series, The Sacred Games, and another one by the name Leila— for having hurt Hindu religious sentiments.
Sources told Business Insider that Netflix has decided to drop the planned second season for Leila.
This may just be the beginning of a heated debate as the likes of Netflix, Amazon, Zee5, AltBalaji and their peers brace for tough negotiations with the government.
This piece has been updated to include responses from some of the readers.