The British government intends to subject streaming channels such as Netflix, Amazon and Disney to the same regulation to which British private broadcasting networks and the public BBC network are subject; This is reported today by the media in the kingdom. According to the report, the UK government will soon introduce a plan that will require these global digital broadcasting platforms to comply with UK content regulation, for the first time ever.
According to the British Daily Mail, the reason for the bill is, among other things, how one of Netflix’s flagship series – “The Crown”, which deals with the experiences of the British royal family – presented the relationship between Prince Charles and Princess Diana. The series presented, incorrectly and misleadingly according to the newspaper, as if Charles and his lover Camila Parker Bulls had continued their affair throughout the years of Charles and Diana’s marriage, a fact that was denied by those involved and defined by the newspaper as “wrong”. British viewers have demanded that Netflix add subtitles that make it clear that these are imaginary scenes, but the British legislature has revealed that it cannot oblige the company to do so.
British Culture Minister Oliver Daoudon intends, according to the report, to review and unify the applicable age-restricted age-restrictive laws, but also professional standards such as reliability and objectivity, required by the British media and television channels. The paper notes that Netflix has ten million subscribers in the UK, more than the British Sky network, but because the company is registered in the Netherlands it is subject only to Dutch legislation, even in English content.
In the United Kingdom, about 50,000 complaints about television broadcasts are submitted each year to the body that oversees the content broadcast on them. In contrast, a Briton who wants to complain about the content on Netflix has to fill out an online form in Dutch, the Daily Mail noted. “British broadcasters are forced to compete with these giants with one hand tied behind their back,” an anonymous government source told the newspaper. “The streaming giants have deep pockets and are unsupervised, allowing them to advance their interpretation of British life.”
The implications of subordinating content to the British regulator may be much broader than fictional content in series, but also extend to the documentary field, for example regarding vaccines – and what is allowed and what is not allowed to be broadcast in the UK for fear of encouraging vaccine campaigners. The same is true of real-crime series and other content, which will be required to meet British standards for balancing and presenting things.