The government acted on 106 complaints on television content in the last three years, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting said in Parliament on Friday. This is a worrying signal for OTT streaming services, which are now under a nearly identical regulatory mechanism to the one in place for TV. Television content is largely regulated by the supposedly self-regulatory Broadcast Content Complaints Committee, but above the BCCC there is a government inter-ministerial committee, which is what acted 106 times over the last three years. Such an inter-ministerial committee is also going to be created for OTT streaming services in the coming weeks, portending similar censorship for streaming platforms. The government was responding to a query by BJP MPs Raksha Khadse and Manoj Kotak. "During the last three years, Government has taken action for violation of Programme Code by way of issue of advisory, warning, apology scrolls and off-air order in respect of 106 cases," the Ministry said in its response. Streaming platforms will be creating a self-regulatory body, but complaints outside of this system, and above it, may continue to create headaches for the industry. Just this month, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights acted on complaints from right wing Twitter handles that claimed to be upset by the portrayal of a minor engaging in substance abuse in a party in the Netflix show Bombay Begums. While Netflix stood its ground and did not remove the show, the child rights body has referred the case to Mumbai Police,…
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