Government announces new guidelines for social media and OTT platforms

Government announces new guidelines for social media and OTT platforms

On Thursday, the Centre announced new social media guidelines to tackle the misuse of social media platforms. The digitised content transmitted over the internet or computer networks will be under these guidelines.

In a briefing on Thursday, Union ministers Prakash Javadekar and Ravi Shankar Prasad welcomed social media platforms to do business in India. The ministers appreciated the platforms for their popularity and huge number of users; however they also highlighted the importance of regulation of social media in India.  

All the intermediaries like Twitter and Facebook, any publisher of news and current affairs content, or curators of such content, will be included under the guidelines.

The key points of the new guidelines for social media and Over The Top (OTT) platforms are as follows:-

1) Three-stair mechanism

The OTT platforms will now have a three-stair mechanism. OTT and digital news media will have to disclose their details.

Javadekar said, “We are not mandating registration, we are seeking information.”

2) Grievance redressal system

Javadekar said, There should be a grievance redressal system in OTT platforms and digital portals. OTT platforms will have to have a self-regulating body, headed by retired Supreme Court or high court judge or very eminent person in this category.”

3) Compliance reports

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

4) Online safety

The content involving nudity, morphed pictures of women have to be removed or disabled within 24 hours.

5) Disclose originator of mischievous message

If a court order or a government authority asks social media platforms to disclose the first originator of mischievous tweet or message, the platform would have to do so.

Prasad said, “This should be only in relation to sovereignty & integrity of India, the security of the state, public order, relations with foreign states, or rape, sexually explicit content etc.”

6) Self classify content

All the OTT platforms will now have to self classify its content into 5 categories based on age: U (Universal), U/A 7+, U/A 13+, U/A 16+, and A (Adult).

Government has given 3 months to the platforms to come in accordance with the new guidelines.

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