If you also love binge-watching web series on weekends then you may be quite familiar with the kind of content that is available at this platform. Although, for people unfamiliar to web- series the content on these platforms are uncensored and filled with vulgar dialogues, intimate scenes, and violent action-filled plots.
Firstly, to facilitate people who are ignorant of what a web series is, it is, “A web series is a series of scripted or not- scripted online videos, generally in episodic form, released on the Internet and part of the web television medium.” The audience base consuming the web- series content has grown over a period of time. With the entry of OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Disney Hotstar complementing to the availability of low-cost mobile date thanking the launch of Reliance Jio communications who made rival telecom operators cut data tariffs.
The first Indian web-series, Sacred Games, was received positively by the Indian audience and opened the paths for Indian production houses to drain their money in online content. With the further release of web series and various OTT platforms, the online content industry has solidified during recent years. The content on these platforms is uncensored and rests on viewer discretion but the content on these platforms has faced a lot of controversy in recent times.
In recent times content involving obscene scenes, extremely disgraceful language, offending comments on religion and social dimensions, and blatant display of violence is becoming a part of the mainstream. There have been a lot of protests against the content available on these platforms. PILs have been filed against the web series demanding a censoring of the content on these platforms. While the films are regulated by the Censor Board but at present, there is no framework regulating the online web series content.
The content on these platforms largely come under the ambit of the Information Technology Act, 2000 (“IT Act”). Although this act has been operative by the Government from time to time it hasn’t done much while concerning the content on OTT platforms. It is also a mammoth task to regulate the content on the platform as it has diversified and grown over the previous few years. The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has previously discussed setting up a regulatory framework for regulating the content but there has been no actual work until
now in regards to the same. At the same time, there has emerged another bloc that opposes censoring of the online content citing it to be a violation of artists Right to expression.
Another argument that has been forwarded is that the online content isn’t a part of the mainstream for a need for regulation. Moreover, watching these series no longer remain simply a pastime as a youth and the Millenials largely consume these content succumbing to peer pressure as watching these content appears cool among their friend circle. This has resulted not only in an unrealized squandering of the invaluable resource of time and leaves an impression on their mindset that is harmful to their adolescent psychology.
Parents also have a key role in checking what their children are consuming on the internet. Parental locks to prevent access to adult sites also is very important for the parents to control the access that youth have on their electronic gadgets. Considering the fact that the impression that content on these platforms have on the young minds though it remains interesting to see what the Government undertakes in the future in this regard.