wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Netflix receives complaint on Ghost Stories, asks production house to give reason for gore

Source: Netflix Media Center

This issue emerges amidst recent developments concerning the IT Rules which requires streaming platforms like Netflix to take complaints from the public on the content that they stream.

Netflix received a complaint on the horror film Ghost Stories, and wrote an email to the production company asking for the “reasoning” behind a scene in the film, according to filmmaker Anurag Kashyap’s Instagram Story viewed by MediaNama on Tuesday evening. The complaint involved Kashyap’s segment on the four-part anthology, specifically around a scene where an expecting mother miscarries and is shown “devouring on her own fetus”. Ghost Stories was launched in January as a Netflix Original, produced by RSVP Movies.

“So it has started..a complaint came to Netflix on Ghost Stories. This is the end,” Kashyap complained in a caption on the Story, which is no longer visible on the filmmaker’s profile. Netflix told MediaNama that as this was a partner-managed production, it reached out to the production company (RSVP Movies) to share the complaint.

The complaint was likely submitted to Netflix as a grievance under the Information Technology (Intermediary Liability and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021. A description of the complaint sent by Netflix to the film’s production company is included in this story. The film is rated for 16 year-olds and above in India, Netflix’s second most mature rating, as of the publication of this report, and contains content descriptors warning viewers of violence, sex, and bad language.

Why does this matter?

This is the first content-related grievance that Netflix has publicly been seen considering under the IT Rules. The complaint already indicates a few points:

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
  • First, even with mature films, complaints about content will be deliberated in-depth for certain aspects outside the bounds of the IT Rules (while the Rules require content descriptors, they don’t require trigger warnings for individuals who may have undergone specific traumatic experiences).
  • Second, it appears that Netflix is involving creators themselves in this process: not the worst idea in theory, but judging by Kashyap’s reaction, it appears that creators may not appreciate the partial onus of defending their content after it is out.

The ramifications of this process will likely not be very public, but what is seemingly clear is that this creates pressure on Netflix and content creators to feel like content on their platform needs to be justified. It is additionally distressing that complainants are making determinations on what is and isn’t necessary for the story of a film.

Text of complaint summary

The following is the text of the portion of the complaint summary that was shared by Kashyap.

Complaint: The complainant has raised an issue on one film of the subject matter anthology. The Complainant has a concern with Anurag Kashyap’s film. Timestamp 1:22:00 to 1:17:15 are highlighted by the complainant wherein the central character is shown devouring on her own fetus from her miscarriage. The complainant thinks that this scene is not required for the story and if the creators wished to add such a scene then there should have been a trigger warning added for the females who have gone through the trauma of miscarriages.

We wanted to know your thoughts on this complaint. I will also need your help in understanding the creator’s reasoning behind adding this scene i.e. what was the message that was trying to be conveyed to the viewer through this scene. — email shared by Anurag Kashyap (emphasis author’s)

What the IT Rules require

The Rules require streaming services to take complaints from the public on the content that they stream. If complainants are not justified, they can approach a second tier, a self-regulatory body of which the streaming service is a member. Next, the complaint is heard by a committee chaired by an eminent personality. In Netflix’s case, this is the Grievance Redressal Board of the Internet and Mobile Association of India’s Digital Publisher Content Grievances Council (DPCGC), chaired by Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri. If the complainants are still not satisfied with the self-regulatory body’s ruling, they can appeal directly to an inter-departmental committee of the government, which can order streaming services to take the content down, and even consider cases forwarded from other ministries on its own.

Rival self-regulatory body starts hearing appeals: The IAMAI’s DPCGC isn’t the only self-regulatory body in play. The Digital Media Content Regulatory Council (DMCRC), established by the Indian Broadcasting Foundation, largely represents streaming services owned by traditional broadcasters, like Hotstar, Zee5, Sony LIV, and SunNXT. The DMCRC heard its first appeal on July 6 and dismissed it the next day. The complaint alleged that a web series’ trailer portrayed Sikhs negatively. The DMCRC dismissed the appeal as without merit, ruling that a trailer is only in place to pique viewer interest, and such conclusions cannot be drawn from the show itself.

Also read:

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Written By

I cover the digital content ecosystem and telecom for MediaNama.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

Views

News

When news that Walmart would soon accept cryptocurrency turned out to be fake, it also became a teachable moment.

News

The DSCI's guidelines are patient-centric and act as a data privacy roadmap for healthcare service providers.

News

In this excerpt from the book, the authors focus on personal data and autocracies. One in particular – Russia.  Autocracies always prioritize information control...

News

By Jai Vipra, Senior Resident Fellow at Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy The use of new technology, including facial recognition technology (FRT) by police...

News

By Stella Joseph, Prakhil Mishra, and Yash Desai The Government of India circulated proposed amendments to the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020 (“E-Commerce Rules”) which...

You May Also Like

News

Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...

News

By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...

Advert

135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...

News

Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Name:*
Your email address:*
*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ