Suppression on the horizon?

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The Indian Government has ordered that all online news, social media and video streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime be subject to state regulation, raising fears of increased censorship of digital media. NT KURIOCITY asked youngsters whether they are for or against this decision

I’m completely against this decision by the Indian Government. With this order unbiased and transparent news sources speaking the voice of the nation, expressing people’s points of view and showing the actual ground report will be curtailed because it may be against the government’s ideology or functioning. People’s freedom of speech and expression will be dead. As far as streaming services are concerned your much anticipated movie or show won’t make it to India or even if it makes it to India, you won’t be able to enjoy it to its full potential anymore. Netflix and Amazon has the smallest catalogue in the world comprising less than 10 per cent of the US catalogue and if this law is imposed there’s no point of spending thousands of rupees per month for a streaming service anymore. You’re basically paying more for less. The basic idea of a streaming service is to give you access to a wide array of content otherwise not available on TV or your region and with this law there’s really not much difference between the two.

Reuban Mascarenhas, Colva

I have mixed views. Getting OTT platforms under the scanner of government rules is welcome as long as the objective is controlled self-regulation. However, the moment this happens, it opens the doors for elevated levels of censorship on content as well. As someone who is extremely fond of digital content, I’d be okay with this decision/order as long as the content that I watch is not adulterated to the extent of losing its very core due to strict censorship. At the end of the day, let there be balance and let democracy be upheld.

Ameya Avadhut Nayak, assistant professor, V M Salgaocar College of Law, Miramar

I would be for this decision. Censorship is necessary knowing that today’s generation is all the more driven by online platforms. It is important to have censorship because what is shown on these platforms is rarely true (reality), and more often than not it leads to creating hopes or unwanted thoughts or actions such as smoking, consuming drugs, etc. If you say, how do we educate the children? Well, there are many other healthy ways of giving information, unlike what is shown on these platforms is what I strongly believe.

Shikha Lagali, Verna

I am absolutely against this decision. Every citizen has the right to information and this censorship is essentially curbing that right. On what basis will things be censored? Amazon, Netflix and social media are global media that have many positive effects and outcomes that create awareness about varied causes! The government censoring these platforms will have no result other than keeping the country and its citizens in the dark. Free media is very effective and is absolutely essential. I believe this is nothing more than a political agenda in order to reduce the awareness regarding the ongoing issues in India that need to be dealt with!

Amanda DCosta, Parvatibai Chowgule College, Margao

Yes, content filtration is required because it’s a form media which is now available to all the masses. However, if the decision is just meant to please a sect of the public at the cost of loss of freedom of free speech and press, then it’s totally unwarranted. Online content curators do have their own guidelines and if it still does more harm than good, then definitely we need a higher body to keep things in check.

Adersh Alornekar, Porvorim