LONDON: A special committee of the Gulf Cooperation Council has called on Netflix to remove offensive content from its platform, or it would risk facing legal action.
“All legal measures will be taken to protect the Kingdom’s sovereignty, citizens and residents from any intellectual attack aimed at affecting its societies, values, safety of upbringing their generations and protecting them from harmful content,” Esra Assery, CEO at the Saudi General Commission for Audiovisual Media (GCAM), told Arab News.
The move by the GCC’s electronic media committee was highlighted during a meeting of the GCAM.
To classify which content would be considered offensive, Assery indicated that Saudi Arabia applies “special classification systems, community standards, and special licenses for which type content is allowed to be broadcast in the Kingdom and GCC countries.”
The council’s committee had taken the decision to approach Netflix “in light of the recent observation that the platform was broadcasting visual material and content which violates content controls in GCC countries,” a commission statement said.
“(The content) violates Islamic and societal values and principles. As such, the platform was contacted to remove this content, including content directed at children, and to ensure adherence to the laws.”
It was agreed that authorities would follow up on Netflix’s compliance with the directives. “In the event that the violating content continues to be available, the necessary legal measures will be taken,” the statement added.
According to Assery, reevaluating the decision will be subject to the extent to which Netflix complies with the GCC’s request for removing content and its seriousness in respecting media regulations in the Kingdom and the GCC.