- Popular online streaming platform Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar may soon face censorship in India.
The country’s right-wing government is now planning to bring censorship to the various video streaming platforms and graphic content. According to an unidentified ‘government source’ quoted by the Reuters. The government is checking whether online streaming platforms should also be subjected to the same moderation rules as the cinema, theater, and television.
Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hotstar
According to the report, the government is most worried about the growing outrage among some of the sections of the country that have filed several cases and police complaints against alleged ‘obscene content’ – a euphemism in India for nudity and expletives. Some claims have also claimed that some of the online programs have insulted their religious sentiment. According to the government official, who Reuters says has ‘direct knowledge of the deliberations.’
As pointed out by the report, concerns about possible government censorship prompted Netflix and Hotstar to sign a self-regulation code back in January, but Amazon chose to stay away, citing ‘inadequate’ legislation regarding online content moderation in the country. The government official quoted by Reuters: “self-regulation isn’t the same for all, which is raising a concern… we have to see how to address all these problems”.
In case the Indian government moves ahead with its censorship plan for all those online streaming platforms. It will be fascinating to look at how it implements the censorship to the digital platform. Given the vast amount of multimedia resources available on the web. It will also be interesting to see whether such a move will put services that produce original. The India-focused content at a disadvantage over the dozens of platforms that do not operate out of India but remain accessible to users in the country one way or another.