Censorship of OTT platforms – Right or Wrong?

OTT censorship debate

Theme:

  • On 11th November 2020, Central government issued a notification which stated that OTT (Over The Top) platforms and online news portals will come under ‘Information & Broadcasting (I&B) ministry’. Before this, they were under the ‘Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY)’. This move caused fears of censorship of both OTT platforms and online news portals because traditional print media and television, which were under I&B ministry are regulated.
  • OTT platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hostar etc. are gaining viewers at a rapid rate, especially during the pandemic, when people are forced to stay at homes.
  • ‘The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI)’ proposed the Universal Self-Regulation Code in January 2019 and a revised version in September 2020. But I&B ministry rejected the code stating that it is not clear and brought the recent notification.

Right:

  • Censorship helps in preventing anti-social, hateful and explicit content from reaching the audience and thereby social order can be maintained.
  • Censorship can protect the sentiments of people by preventing the content that is hurtful to some cultures or communities.

Wrong:

  • To get the certificate & a clearance, sometimes producers are forced to struggle, especially when the content criticises government & their policies. This will discourage diverse opinions, innovation & creativity. So, there will be a threat to freedom of expression.
  • Power & money may control the content to pursue their goals and political propaganda.
  • For some people, a film may seem offensive but for some others, it may seem progressive. So, it is unfair to dictate what to watch and what not to watch.
  • We already have laws such as the ‘Information & Technology Act, 2000‘ to deal with hateful and explicit content. And hence there is no need for censorship.
  • These days, people are preferring OTT content over television content, because of the quality of content. But if it is censored, the content may stoop to the same level as television content. This may discourage investment in OTT platforms. OTT platforms created many employment opportunities, and lack of investment may reverse the progress.
  • Unlike Television, people can choose what to watch on OTT platforms. And OTT platforms mention the appropriate age to watch that content. So, there is no need to censor them.
  • There is so much explicit content present on the internet. Censoring only OTT platforms leaving the entire internet seems unfair.
  • Self-regulatory bodies are better than government censorship because the audience can watch diverse content rather than narrow views.

Conclusion:

OTT platforms are gaining so much user base nowadays. They are promoting varied opinions and thoughts. Indian directors and producers are creating content on OTT platforms, which are competing with international content. Censorship of OTT may discourage investments and diverse content. And hence, self-regulation code is much better than censorship in the case of OTT platforms.
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Your Turn…

Do you think OTT platforms should be censored? What’s your take on this topic? Express your thoughts through the comment section below. And subscribe to our blog to read answers to the trending GD topics.
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4 comments

  1. Yes, self-regulation code is much better than censorship in the case of OTT platforms. But we can not expect all to obey rules & regulations without law. Media has a strong influence on psychology. So censorship is necessary.

  2. In my opinion,
    )Rather than taking control over the OTT platforms the government should stringent the act. We cannot say that the government should make OTT creator completely free as we all have been seeing the OTT platform now sla days is becoming very worse than ever it was. Now a days it is equal to any pornographic site. Sometimes these videos and photos from the OTT platform get stolen by some anonymous users and this is where it is exposed to childrens as well. Many people are getting those videos and hotos for free even after knowing that we have to pay to watch the OTT contents. So i think the government should make stringent laws regarding this one so that no adult content gets leaked from the platform. Because when it is openly exposed to small childrens their mind gets changed and gravitated to those things. Childrens are the futire of our india if they are exposed to such things at the early stage of their life the country will never be able to growth.
    2) And taking fully control of the OTT platform , violates article 19 which is freedom of speech and expression. Everybody has the right to watch whatever they want. If the government takes fully control over these things india will stay behind other coutries in the matter of movie making in the OTT platform
    3)

  3. OTT content should not be regulated because:-
    1- Its against Right to Freedom of expression.
    2- Quality of content, creativity is more in OTT platform and regulating it will only supressing creativity and ideas.
    3- OTT platform in this pandemic era is very good source of employment to people, where they can work from home and regulating this will only lead to job cut.
    4- OTT platform with content on social issues, history, business is helping to share knowledge and hence it should be promoted.

  4. No, i dont think OTT platform should be censored because OTT platforms have really good quality of content which many tv industries dont have and due to lockdown OTT is gaining many viewers now days and we also knew that there are many explicit content in internet which dont get censorship so why OTT ?? OTT also gives us a valuable content which you coulnot put it into censorship as it might effect the employment opportunities .and hence ,self regulation code is much better than censorship.

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