The government on Wednesday issued an order bringing online films, audio-visual programmes and online news and current affairs content under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The move will affect news websites as well as platforms such as Amazon Prime and Netflix.
As such, many have raised concerns about how this will affect the content available online. The changes made by the President to the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961 ensure that effective immediately, film and AV programmes that are made available by online content providers as well as news and current affairs content on online platforms come under the ambit of the Ministry.
While Twitter is divided as per usual, there seems to be a common consensus that the move might soon lead to censorship. "Big brother is watching," said one ominous tweet. The addendum here of course is the fact that many seem to be cheered by that same thought. While some see the possibility of censorship as a long awaited and welcome reform, others are now lamenting the loss of freedom.
"Finally something to protect our kids and siblings from too much violence and sensual content along with fake news," cheered one twitter user.
"Good streaming content and independent online news platforms, it was great knowing you while you lasted," mourned another.
Some however remain uncertain as to how this control could be exercised. "On expected lines but there will be much screaming and shouting by certain platforms. Also how will 'news' providers on @YouTube be monitored?" wondered one user.