News Leak Centre

No Fear No Favour

New guidelines to regulate content on social media, OTT platforms

By Devanshi Thakkar

In a press conference, IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the new guidelines will keep an eye on the content.

The Centre has finalised new rules for digital content, social media companies and OTT platforms. Some of the new changes include strict oversight mechanism involving several ministries. Further, these platforms will be banned from telecasting content that affects “the sovereignty and integrity of India” and that which threatens national security. Ravi Shankar Prasad and Prakash Javadekar addressed the media to announce the new rules for OTT platforms, social media and messaging services.

The new guidelines will be implemented within three months.

“There was demand from all sectors including these two platforms that there must be some arrangement by which a level playing field can be provided to all the media categories. Thus, under the Information Technology Act, 2000 certain rules are being formulated to provide this institutional mechanism for level playing field,” a statement from the government said

“Social media platforms upon being asked either by a court order or a govt authority will be required to disclose the first originator of mischievous tweet or message as the case may be,” Prasad said.

Social media is welcome for doing business in India, but such content is coming on social media, which cannot be called civilized in any way. Such complaints came to us a lot. A forum should be there for the problem of social media users. Social media is being used to spread hatred.

Terrorists are also using social media. Complaints of wrong use of social media have been coming for many years, there is also the menace of fake news.

As per the new guidelines, offensive posts to be removed in 24 hours and the platforms have to appoint a Chief Complaint Officer. The platforms will also have to provide information about the person who first posted the content

After Tandav released on January 15 on Amazon Prime Video, several complaints were filed all over the country with a section of people objecting to a few scenes and dialogues of the show. An FIR registered in Lucknow against the makers and the actors mentioned that the show allegedly ‘hurt the religious sentiments’ of people.

Another popular web-series Mirzapur also came under the radar after a complaint was filed in Uttar Pradesh against the makers for allegedly ‘hurting the religious sentiments’ and showing the Mirzapur district in a bad light. On Friday, the Allahabad High Court gave relief to producers Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani by staying their arrest.

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