Javadekar Fields Questions on Regulation of Content material on OTT Platforms in Lok Sabha

New Delhi: Bypassed a direct question from over 20 MPs in Lok Sabha whether it was “known that content / web series” were broadcast on over-the-top (OTT) platforms, “full of sex, violence, abuse, vulgarity” and Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar responded that the central government changed the division of business rules through a notice in November 2020 to bring the news and current affairs issue and audiovisual content to them on online platforms.

Members of various parties had also specifically asked about the current process and the legal penalty for violations of religious sentiments by OTT platforms and whether the government had rejected the self-regulatory guidelines developed by OTT platforms and streaming services. It was also asked if there was a proposal to introduce new regulatory laws or set up a regulator to censor OTT platforms to address the issue of sensitive, offensive, vulgar, obscene and fake video content.

Incidentally, the output of content on OTT platforms was in the news in January of this year after an FIR was registered against the Amazon series Tandav for allegedly violating religious sentiments.

To the unmarked question, Javadekar replied that “there are currently about 40 over-the-top (OTT) platforms in operation in the country”. Combining the responses on the various points, he stated: “The government has received several complaints / complaints regarding the content of programs on OTT platforms. The government has also held several consultations with OTT stakeholders, including the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), to show them the need for an appropriate self-regulatory mechanism for content via OTT platforms. “

Also read: FIR against creators of the Amazon series ‘Tandav’ for hurting religious feelings

To achieve this, the IAMAI informed the ministry in August 2020 that a self-regulation mechanism for the OTT platforms had been developed. However, the minister said: “The audit found that the mechanism proposed by IAMAI did not provide sufficient awareness of the content banned by law and there were conflict of interest issues that were communicated to IAMAI in September 2020.”

Thereafter, the central government also changed the allocation of business rules through a notice on November 9, and the subject of news and current affairs and audiovisual content on online platforms was in the mandate of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

On another question from former EU Minister for Information and Broadcasting and Congressman Manish Tewari about the “regulatory architecture the government wants to put in place to manage, monitor and monitor these entities” and whether social media platforms have not been included in the scope Javadekar gave a similar response to the November 9 communication on the regulation of digital platforms.

However, in addition to the points in the answer to the 21 MP, he said: “Every media platform has well-defined laws and institutional mechanisms (including self-regulatory mechanisms). Press Council Act, 1978 for print media, the Cable TV Network (Regulation Act, 1995 for electronic media and Information Technology Act, 2000 for digital media.) He added that “each media platform is unique in its nature and has its own specifics”. .

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