NFVCB Vows to Sanction Streaming Services Violating Digital Content Law

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Speakers at the closing of the third edition of the NFVCB’s Digital Content Regulation Conference on Thursday in Lagos.
Speakers at the closing of the third edition of the NFVCB’s Digital Content Regulation Conference on Thursday in Lagos.

NFVCB Vows to Sanction Streaming Services Violating Digital Content Law

The National Film And Video Censors Board (NFVCB), On Thursday, vowed to clamp down on Over-The-Top (OTT) streaming services violating the Nigerian digital content law.

Alh. Adedayo Thomas, Executive Director, NFVCB, said this at the closing of the third edition of the NFVCB’s Digital Content Regulation  Conference in Lagos.

The three-day conference was tagged: NFVCB-NETFLIX Safe Screen and Digital Entertainment Space Forum.

Thomas said that the Nigerian creative industry law covered online OTT and streamers and that the board was working closely with security agencies to ensure that violators face the law.

He noted that though the board was challenged in the area of monitoring the huge content pushed out by online platforms, it was working on expanding its capacity for effective monitoring.

The NFVCB boss commended the popular OTT streaming service, NETFLIX, on its compliance with the digital content law and collaboration with the board.

“NETFLIX is the best in compliance with the digital content law because they will not accept any unclassified film by NFVCB from any filmmaker.

“ The consequences of not complying with the digital content law and providing contents that are against the fabric of the society are in our regulations and constitution,” he said.

According to him, the board is determined to protect the Nigerian cultural value system by ensuring that films and videos distributed in Nigeria meet the required ethical standards.

He said that NFVCB organised the conference to bring together stakeholders in the creative industry to brainstorm on how to provide safe digital content for children.

He said the conference was part of efforts to broaden initiatives for responsible digital parenting and enable age-appropriate online experiences for children and younger people on digital entertainment platforms.

In a presentation, Ms Ziyanda Buthelezi-Ngcobo, Manager, Public Policy Sub-Sahara Africa, NEFLIX, said that the streaming platform was collaborating with the NFVCB  to safeguard digital content watched by children.

Buthelezi-Ngcobo stated that NETFLIX was committed to showcasing African culture and values through censorship of its content.

She explained that the streaming service had built trust by providing responsible self-regulation under the guidance of the board.

According to her, while the OTT is a safe destination, it does not market its services to children under age 18, except with the consent of their parents.

The NETFLIX official said that the streaming service gave parents control on its platform to monitor and ensure that their children are not exposed to unsafe content.

Buthelezi-Ngcobo stated that the focus of NETFLIXwas on three Cs, namely: Content, Context and Control

According to her, the platform does not allow chartroom on its platform, but only professionally-created content.

“NETFLIX recognises that parenting style varies in terms of perceived opportunities and concern about the internet, so we provide content and control for parents in the Free range, Peerent, Veicro and Pedagogical categories, “ she said.

Speaking, Mrs Bukola Agbaminoja, Executive Secretary, Lagos State Film and Video Censor Board said that the board had the power to close down any cinema and exhibition centre aiding the exposure of children to inappropriate and unclassified content.

Agbaminoja stated that the board had not achieved total regulation of the OTT streaming platform because of the voluminous contents in space.

“It is an offence to lead a child astray in whatever way and there is a stiffer penalty for violators of this law”, she said.

No fewer than 2000 participants, including security agents, film-makers, online content providers, policymakers, teachers and parents, attended the conference.