New Set Of Guidelines Announced For OTT Platforms

New Guidelines Announced For OTT Platforms & Digital Media

Netflix and chill’ was a trend even before the OTT platforms entered India. So far, neither the government nor any censorship board had control over content online; that’s about to change. The central government has introduced a new set of rules and regulations for digital media and OTT platforms. 

Earlier, the content on streaming channels and digital media portals was highly unregulated. This led to certain shows displaying sensitive content (for some). The I&B Ministry has now introduced a three-tier grievance redressal system. This is applied to all existing OTT platforms and newly launched portals too. “There are three levels of it. First one includes self-regulation by the platform itself by means of a grievance redressal officer. Second, a self-regulatory body governed by a retired Supreme Court/High Court judge or any eminent personality of this field and an industry expert. The third, is the interdepartmental committee formed by the government”, explains P.K. Pankaj, Senior Technical Director & HOD at Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.  

Rules Explained For OTT Platforms

If for some reason this issue is not resolved, or the complainant feels unsatisfied, then the issue can be escalated to the next level. “The government has tightened its clutches by regulating the content of OTT platforms for the good of the masses”, mentions Pankaj.  

However, not everyone echoes the same views. The government still has some voids to fill. “The content on OTT platforms can be vulgar for certain members of the society. While others might have an inclination towards it. Who’s gonna decide which section is right? One cannot always call nudity as offensive just because he/she doesn’t like it”, says Janardhana Nagarajan B.J, a Tamil documentary director. 

In layman’s words, what this system means is if a viewer has a complaint with the content on OTT platforms, he/she can report this issue to the platform. Further, the the grievance redressal officer will take care of the issue. 

If we analyse the words of Nagarajan, the number of complaints raised by the users could increase. A lack of a “definitive normal” i.e. anyone who feels what they are watching is sensitive can raise a complaint. “The regulations include even more. They want us (the directors) to curate content keeping in mind the beliefs, cultures, ethics and sensibilities of the Indian society”, adds Nagarajan.

This leaves many questions unanswered for OTT platforms. And, changes what you’ll be watching when you’re in the mood to Netflix and chill.

Read about the regional OTT platforms that are booming.

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