Majority Indians support partial censorship for online streaming: Survey

Topics censorship | Indians | OTT services

Even as the debate about censorship of online and streaming platform content rages on, a new survey has found that a majority of the respondents would like some kind of censorship or monitoring of these shows and movies.

A five-poll survey was conducted by community platform LocalCircles to check citizen perception of the OTT (over the top) platforms available in India, which received more than 40,000 responses from across India.

One of the findings was that 63 per cent respondents said OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, Zee5 and so on in India should be subjected to some kind of censorship rules of government code of conduct, while 32 per cent disagreed.

However, a majority- 51 per cent do not watch shows or movies on OTT platforms just yet.

The survey also found that 42 per cent respondents had a subscription for just one OTT platform while 25 per cent subscribed to two OTT platforms, 33 per cent said they have a subscription for 3 or more OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, etc.

The primary reason, according to 53 per cent respondents, for using OTT platforms  was that they could watch content as per their convenience, while 9 per cent said the content is high
Quality, another 9 per cent said they like the uncensored content and 11 per cent said they have a lower cost than others. About 18 per cent were unsure about it.

The main issue 25 per cent respondents had with OTT content was adult-only content being easily accessible to children. The top concern was obscene content for 9 per cent respondents, 13 per cent said it was “anti-national” content, 8 per cent had issues with content deemed insulting to certain religions and castes and 8 per cent were concerned about the use of very strong language. The highest number-- 37 per cent-- said they had no issues with content on these OTT platforms.

The Internet and Mobile Association of India had earlier this month, launched the Digital Curated Content Complaint Council (DCCCC), which will be a mechanism to let consumers file any complaints related to streaming or online content and get a time bound redressal.

The DCCCC is aimed at promoting customer confidence, commerce and creative content in India. This is the second stage of the self-regulation model code adopted by  industry players last year.

However, unlike nine signatories to the code last year, the DCCCC currently has only four online curated content providers (OCCP) on board Hotstar, Voot, Jio, and SonyLiv, because the major OTT players consider a complaints and penalty model as censorship of content.

The Council will be chaired by Justice A P Shah, and will include other eminent personalities with keen knowledge of the digital medium, content creators and experts.

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