Govt’s Guidelines For Social Media And OTT

On November 11th 2020, the Centre has initiated a reform pertaining to online portals and content providers. These two features are brought under the Information and Bureau ministry and on Thursday the Centre has rolled out guidelines for social media and OTT platforms.

Regarding the same union ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad and Prakash Javadekar have held a press meet and listed out the highlights of new reforms. “Social media is welcome to do business in India, they have done well, gathered a good number of users and empowered ordinary Indians. Social media platforms must have a provision for the voluntary verification mechanism of the users,” said Ravi Shankar.

Here are some features that need to be noted:

— All OTT platforms should self-classify its content into five categories based on age, namely: U (Universal), U/A 7+, U/A 13+, U/A 16+, and A (Adult).

— The Over The Top (OTT) platforms will have a three-stair mechanism. OTT and digital news media will have to disclose their details.

— OTT platforms will have to have a self-regulating body and it has to be headed by a retired Supreme Court or high court judge.

— A three-level grievance redressal mechanism is introduced and under it, two levels are of self-regulation and the third level is Oversight Mechanism under the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.

— Content involving nudity, morphed pictures of women have to be removed in 24 hours upon the complaint from any individual or community.

— The social media platforms will be required to disclose the first originator of the mischievous tweet. In this case if the tweet invokes distress.

— The social media platforms will have to file monthly compliance reports.

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