Govt can only advocate, no law on censorship for streaming platforms

Parents and guardians are urged to exercise parental control to ensure minors cannot access to inappropriate content

by ANIS HAZIM / pic BLOOMBERG

THE Communications and Multimedia Ministry (K-KOMM) informed the Dewan Negara that content streaming on over-the-top (OTT) platforms like Netflix is solely users’ choice including the subscription.

Its Deputy Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin said the legislative provision under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (Act 588) do not cover the scope of censorship as stated clearly in Section 3 (3) of Act 588.

“Additionally, OTT services such as Netflix differ from public and private broadcasting services that are subject to licensing and filtering frameworks under existing law,” he said during the question-and-answer session.

Zahidi was replying to Senator Datuk Ahmad Yahya who asked what K-KOMM stance on controlling the contents on streaming platforms to prevent unhealthy cultures from spreading in society.

He said, however, the ministry is focusing to implement advocacy programmes to encourage users to exercise self-control in ensuring maturity in the selection of shows or programmes on the OTT platform.

“Users must exercise self-control based on appropriate age classifications (13, 16 and 18 years old and above) and synopsis on the content provided,” he added.

Meanwhile, parents and guardians are encouraged to exercise parental control by placing an access pin for each household’s viewer profile to ensure minors cannot access to inappropriate content.

Last year, K-KOMM said they are reviewing laws to enable the authorities to monitor and control the OTT contents as many parties were concerned regarding the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender shows on Netflix.