Govt Will Censor Netflix, Prime, & All OTTs With Self-Regulation Laws, Rules: How Will It Work?

OTT platforms and online news websites to be finally censored under a self-regulatory law introduced by the I&B ministry.
OTT platforms and online news websites to be finally censored under a self-regulatory law introduced by the I&B ministry.

We have been incessantly covering topics regarding censorship on OTT (Over the Top) platforms and digital media.

For over a year, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry (I&B) has worked closely with the Internet and Mobile Association (IAMA) to draft a self-regulatory regime for OTT platforms and digital media.

After several rejected proposals and guidelines revolving around the motive of establishing a self-regulation code for content on digital media, the Narendra Modi government has finally come to a decision to establish an overarching law to introduce self-regulation protocols in digital media.

Let’s learn in detail about this.

What Will this New Statute Include?

Sources of the information, a government official has informed that the said law will bring in self-regulation in digital media, which includes not only OTT platforms like Voot and Hotstar but also put a check on the authenticity of news information circulated by digital news websites.

This overarching statute will also cover multinational OTT platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime.

The self regulatory law will cover the fake and sensitive news covered by hundreds of news content websites in the country.

“Like the print media has the Press Council of India, films have the Central Board of Film Certification and TV channels are broadly regulated under The Cable Television Networks Regulation Act, the digital media which has been unregulated till now, will soon have an overarching regulation for redressal of complaints on content,” stated the official.

New Law to Not Overshadow Freedom of Digital Media

Another government official informs that while the I&B ministry has come up with a long-awaited and necessary self-regulatory code for online media and OTT platforms, the government body has put in a lot of time and thought into proposing a legal regime which ‘should not curtail the freedom enjoyed by the sector and has been engaging with the Internet and Mobile Association of India for more than a year on self-regulation’, as stated.

The ministry has received several complaints regarding a check on the adult content and language shown in OTT platforms, by the public.

You can check out the views of the public regarding the need for censorship on OTT platforms here.

Currently, there is not a single law or autonomous body for monitoring/regulating the content uploaded by digital platforms, which are purely unscreened/unfiltered.

The government is also examining the Australian model where multinational tech platforms such as Google and Facebook have been asked to pay for local news content.

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