The Government of India has laid down new guidelines for Indian OTT platforms, to hold social media and other companies accountable for what they put out. On the other hand, it will also defend the platforms against unnecessary PILs.
Through the guidelines, the Government has suggested two key points for OTT platforms: self-classification of content and a three-tier grievance redressal mechanism.
Following the roll out of the guidelines, platforms would be required to implement parental locks for content classified as U/A 13+ or higher and provide reliable age verification proof for content classified as “A”.
In addition, publishers of online curated content will display a classification rating for every content or programme, along with a description, informing users about the content nature.
For social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, etc., the new rules will limit their content liability, should they not comply with the due diligence norms.
As part of section 87 of the Information Technology Act, the Code of Ethics for online news, OTT platforms, and digital media empower the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to implement Part-III of the rules.
The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) in consultation with the MIB has agreed to a universal self-regulatory code adopted by 17 Online Curated Content Platforms [OCCPs] in India, and have committed to its speedy rollout through an ’Implementation Toolkit’. The IAMAI had also urged the government to hold a public consultation on draft OTT guidelines.
The Government stated that the implementation follows a study of the models in other countries including Singapore, Australia, EU, and the UK, most of which have or are working on setting up an institutional mechanism to regulate digital content.