Singapore—Netflix, the video streaming company that revolutionized the way people consume movies and series, has received a number of takedown demands since its launching in 1997.
To date, Netflix has removed nine pieces of content due to takedown demands from various governments. Five of these were due to demands that came from the government of Singapore. Even as we are only in the second month of 2020, Netflix has already removed, at the request of the Singaporean government, “The Last Hangover,” which is a TV comedy series from Brazil.
Singapore’s Info-communications Media Development Authority, which is under the Ministry of Communications and Information issued the takedown demand to Netflix.
Last year, Netflix took down “The Last Temptation of Christ” from the streaming service in Singapore, upon demand from the IMDA. Screening of the film is banned in the country.
In 2018, the IMDA issued similar takedown demands for the following shows: “Cooking on High,” “The Legend of 420” and “Disjointed.”
Other countries that have made takedown demands are Vietnam, whose Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information asked for the US movie “Full Metal Jacket” to be removed from its streaming service; Germany, whose Commission of Youth Protection made a similar request for the film “Night of the Living Dead.” Both demands were made in 2017. Two years earlier, New Zealand’s Film and Video Labeling Body issued a demand for Netflix to remove “The Bridge”, after the movie was classified to be “objectionable” there.
And last year, Saudi Arabia’s Communication and Information Technology Commission asked Netflix to take down one episode from Indian-American comic Hasan Minhaj’s show Patriot Act. This particular episode was entitled “Saudi Arabia.”
Netflix made the details of its takedowns in a report entitled Environmental Social Governance which was published recently. Netflix wrote in its report, “In some cases we’ve also been forced to remove specific titles or episodes of titles in specific countries due to government takedown demands….Beginning next year, we will report these takedowns annually.”
The objective of the report was to provide better transparency concerning the company’s impact on society as well as its structures of governance.
Netflix added, ”We offer creators the ability to reach audiences all around the world. However, our catalog varies from country to country, including for [broadcasting] rights reasons [and] in some cases, we’ve been forced to remove specific titles or episodes of titles in specific countries due to government takedown demands.”
Netflix has been streaming content in Singapore since 2016.
Concerning its user privacy, Netflix added in its report, “Our service is subscription-based and we do not allow third-party advertising on Netflix. When members sign up for the service we ask for very little information: email, name, and method of payment. We do not collect socio-demographic data like gender or race for the purposes of our viewing recommendations system. Our Privacy Statement provides a detailed explanation of our privacy practices, including the information Netflix collects or receives from each member; how we use and disclose it (including advertising that we conduct off Netflix to promote our service); and the controls each member has in relation to this information.” -/TISG
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