India worries about obscenity and asks Netflix, Disney and other streaming services for content checks: Report | Coin – Coin

Center has told Netflix, Disney and other streaming services that their content must be independently reviewed for obscenity and violence before being shown online, Reuters reports, according to a government document and sources.

The proposal was handed over to the streaming platforms at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on 20 June.

The streaming companies, also known as OTT platforms, objected and no decision was made, according to government minutes of the talks and an industry source present.

The ministry “expressed concern about lewd and vulgar content on OTT platforms, as expressed by MPs, citizens’ groups and the general public,” according to the minutes, which are not public but have been viewed by Reuters.

Netflix and Amazon have exploded in popularity in India, which Media Partners Asia predicts will grow into a $7 billion market for the industry by 2027.

Top Bollywood stars feature in online material, some of which have drawn criticism from lawmakers and the public for scenes deemed vulgar or offensive to religious feelings.

While all movies in Indian cinemas are rated and certified by a government-appointed board, streamed content is not.

Officials at the meeting asked the industry to consider an independent panel to review the content so that inappropriate material could be weeded out, two attendees said.

The industry objected, but officials asked them to consider the idea, they added.

The government stressed the need for a “more proactive approach” to ensure streaming content, “including international content”, complies with a so-called code of ethics, the minutes showed.

That code already requires providers to be careful with content that can incite violence or is sensitive for religious reasons.

The meeting was attended by Amazon, Disney, Netflix, Reliance’s broadcast unit, Viacom18 and Apple TV.

The companies and the ministry did not respond to requests for comment.


The discussions indicate a growing focus on India’s burgeoning streaming market.

The proposal also comes as streaming giants protest a government order to add 50-second tobacco warnings to every piece of content, and two years after India ordered the establishment of self-regulatory bodies for streaming content complaints.

Industry executives say India’s streaming regulations are among the strictest in the world.

At an event in April when the government agreed to partner with Amazon to promote film and television, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said streaming platforms “should not promote vulgarity and abuse camouflaged as creative expression”.

Thakur has said complaints about obscene content were on the rise and the government was ready to change regulations if necessary to address the problem.

Indian officials also suggested at the meeting that an expert panel be formed to set age ratings, rather than platforms doing it themselves, one of the attendees said.

The platforms said they would ensure strong parental controls and “special care would be taken to ensure the appropriateness of the international content,” the minutes showed.

Suhasini Maniratnam of the Digital Publisher Content Grievance Council said that increasing pre-censorship could hurt the industry’s growth and cost jobs, and that given the volume of content “there is a need to act specifically” against obscene and vulgar content.

This story was published from an agency news agency with no edits to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

Related premium stories

Catch all business news, market news, major news events and latest news updates on Live Mint. Download the Mint News app to receive daily market updates.

More or less

Updated: July 14, 2023, 2:57 PM IST

Adblock test (Why?)

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *