The production house allegedly asked Facebook to remove the content, claiming the post infringed on the movie’s intellectual copyright.

FB takes down negative posts on Aami Irked users blame producer director for this
news Controversy Monday, February 12, 2018 - 12:18

Ever since Malayalam director Kamal announced his biopic on prominent writer Kamala Das, controversies have dogged the film. Whether it was the change in the lead – from Vidya Balan to Manju Warrier – or allegations that the film glorified love jihad, Aami has constantly been in the spotlight. 

Days after it opened to mixed reviews, Facebook viewers have alleged that posts criticising the movie have been taken down by the social media website.

This, after the film's production house, Reel and Real Cinemas, raised objections with Facebook, saying that the content in the posts is their intellectual property. 

Filmmaker Vinod Mankara was one such user who had taken to Facebook to heavily criticise Aami. From its aesthetics to the manner in which the subject was treated, Vinod slammed the movie and its director Kamal in a Facebook post in Malayalam. 

However, hours after he posted the negative review, Facebook removed the post, citing that they "received a report from a third party that the content infringes their copyright(s)." 

Following this, Vinod put up another post telling everyone that his previous post criticising Aami had been removed by Facebook, allegedly based on a complaint raised by Reel and Real Cinemas, according to the instructions given by director Kamal. 

"They have claimed what I wrote is their intellectual property. This is a scary situation. This means anyone can do anything, by entering one's Facebook profile at any time. When I reached out to this company, they threatened me saying that they will go to any extent. We need to protest against these people, who are scared of the power of words and social media. A situation where we are denied the right to disagree is an attack on our freedom of expression," Vinod wrote. 

However, Vinod later said that this post too was taken down. 

Another social media user, Shibu Ev, a journalist with Mangalam, claimed that Facebook had taken down his negative review of Aami based on an objection raised by the production house.

Director Kamal reacts

Speaking to a television channel at the Kerala Literature Festival in Kozhikode, Kamal denied reports of his role in the negative reviews being taken down from Facebook. 

"If it is the producer's wish to raise an objection, then how can I interfere? I do not have a say on it at all. Neither will I tell the producer how to deal with negative comments. As far as the producer is concerned, a film is also a product for him. It is art for me, but for the producer, it is his product," Kamal said. 

On Sunday, Aami's official Facebook page responded to the controversy. The post read:

"With or without seeing Aami, a few prominent Malayalam media houses have come up with negative reviews on the film and have demanded Rs 25,000 to take it down. At the same time, there are people who are constantly giving low ratings for the film on BookMyShow. The producer has refused to bow down to the people who bargained with their negative reviews and proceeded to seek the help of Facebook. There's nothing wrong in that. We are not claiming that the film is by far the best in Malayalam industry, but for people who watched the film sincerely, it wouldn't be a disappointment."