Netizens on Wednesday were dealt a hand that they were not sure they could win. The government issued an order that said that all OTT platforms and digital news sites would now be under the ambit of the I&B ministry, headed by Prakash Javadekar. This, needless to say, raised concerns of censorship and certification. Binge-watchers across the country united to mourn on social media, what they believed could be, curbing the freedom of platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ Hotstar.
AAP MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj said that the government wants to control the content on these OTT platforms as they are "uncomfortable with lot of truth being served". Congress called it curbing freedom of expression. "Print & Digital Media done & dusted !! Now news portals & streaming services such as Hotstar, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video accessible over internet to be regulated by Ministry Of Information And Broadcasting ? Yet another move by Modi govt to curb freedom of expression!!" it said.
Karan Anshuman, screenwriter for shows like Mirzapur and Inside Edge questioned the government on the self-regulation code that 15 OTT platforms signed. "Whatever happened to the understanding with Mr Javadekar that OTT will be self-regulated? The govt is giving in to the basest demands of prudes. How is this progress in any manner? Don't like it, don't watch it. Don't impose your regressive views on a billion people," he said.
What mostly concerned the netizens is the potential cutting of some of the choicest dialogues from shows such as Mirzapur. In fact, Mirzapur meme-template has been the go-to for meme-makers. Many have said that netizens will now go back to the times of VPN and proxy servers to access unregulated content on OTT platforms.
Now Modi Govt wants to control content on Netflix, Amazon etc. Obviously, they are uncomfortable with lot of truth being served. https://t.co/362mP594cvSaurabh Bharadwaj (@Saurabh_MLAgk) November 11, 2020
Print & Digital Media done & dusted !!Telangana Congress (@INCTelangana) November 11, 2020
Now news portals & streaming services such as Hotstar, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video accessible over internet to be regulated by Ministry Of Information And Broadcasting ?
Yet another move by Modi govt to curb freedom of expression !! pic.twitter.com/WU1my733Nc
Govt. brings all OTT platforms under the purview of the I & B Ministry. The sequel to my Amazon special, Almost Sanskari will be called Fully Sanskari. #CENSORSHIPNeeti Palta (@neetipalta) November 11, 2020
Whatever happened to the understanding with Mr Javadekar that OTT will be self-regulated? The govt is giving in to the basest demands of prudes. How is this progress in any manner? Don't like it, don't watch it. Don't impose your regressive views on a billion people.Karan Anshuman (@krnx) November 11, 2020
#OTTPlatformsArchit (@Archit52087345) November 11, 2020
Netflix,Amazon prime,Hotstar,ALTbalaji and TVF to everyone:- pic.twitter.com/bgf1qgmczm
Online Streaming Platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, AltBALAji, Zee5 and MX player will now be subject to the same censorship Rules as that of TVVIDHI (@VidhiBhatia7) November 12, 2020
Good content be like :- pic.twitter.com/vqZhPT49vk
Govt brings all OTTs like Netflix, Amazon Prime under compass of I&B ministry. Means they will control and censorship ott just like bollywood films. In simple words lesser violence scene..lesser cuss words..no explicit scene. pic.twitter.com/KHwdsahISIAtul Gaurav (@keep_it_sober) November 11, 2020
Netflix, Amazon prime and other OTT are now under government regulations#OTTPlatforms pic.twitter.com/S4kyxNLEXeBunny Vasu (@Bunnyvasu100) November 12, 2020
#OTTPlatformsA K i B (@akibaliii) November 11, 2020
"OTT is now under purview of Censor Board ".
Meanwhile Netflix, Amazon, Hotstar & MXPlayer To CB:- pic.twitter.com/iL1s4juc9G
#OTTPlatformsShana Launda (@shanalaunda) November 12, 2020
*Netflix, Amazon Prime to come under Government Regulations* pic.twitter.com/Woqzs8B8Ej
However, I&B officials reportedly said that the rule will not affect content and it will simply be under the purview of the ministry.
Also read: Mirzapur, Sacred Games f*****! Censorship era dawns on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar
Also read: 'Think beyond sex and abuse': Netflix, Amazon Prime, other OTT platforms stare at new challenge
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