Govt. of India introduced new regulations on OTT platforms. The rules revolve around a self-regulatory mechanism that will include a code of ethics and regular compliance reports.
In the document, titled Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, the government has blockquoted powers provided to it under section 87 of the Information Technology Act, 2000.
In a press conference, IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the new guidelines will keep an eye on the web content/OTT content and empower social media users.
As per the new guidelines, offensive posts to be removed in 24 hours and the platforms have to appoint a Chief Complaint Officer. The platforms will also have to provide information about the person who first posted the content.
BJP MP Manoj S Kotak had earlier urged the government to regulate OTT platforms, claiming some of the contents on them promote violence, drug abuse and also portray Hindu deities in poor light.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour in the Lok Sabha, Manoj Kotak (BJP) had said that some web series in the name of freedom of expression promote violence, drug abuse. Some of them also depict Hindu deities in an objectionable manner, he said.
Manoj Kotak welcomed the new regulations on OTT platforms saying it was necessary because the platform was showing things that hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus.
“I warmly welcome the new regulations on OTT platforms introduced by the Government of India. The OTT platform was showing things that hurt the sentiments of Hindus, so it was very necessary to bring rules on the OTT platform”, he said.
There are at least 40 OTT platforms, including global ones such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and HotStar (Disney Plus), and hundreds of news content websites. Recently, two scenes were removed from a web series following first information report (FIR) against its makers for allegedly depicting Hindu deities in an objectionable manner.