OTT, Online News Firms to Disclose Details; Check New IT Rules

The Centre on Thursday came up with new guidelines to regulate social media and OTT platforms. The development came after a face-off with Twitter. The Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, was announced by the union ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad and Prakash Javadekar during a press briefing.

February 25, 2021

National

4 min

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New Delhi, February 25: The Centre on Thursday came up with new guidelines to regulate social media and OTT platforms. The guidelines were announced by the Centre days after a face-off with Twitter. The Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, was announced by the union ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad and Prakash Javadekar during a press briefing. As per the new guidelines, social media platforms will have to disclose the originator of the mischievous tweet.

Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021: Social Media Firms Must Trace Originator of Faulty Messages, OTT, Online News Firms to Disclose Details; Check New Rules

Social media platforms will also be required to remove content against the dignity of users within 24 hours after a complaint is made. The IT minister said, “If there are complaints against dignity of users, particularly women – expose private parts of individuals or nudity or sexual act or impersonation etc – you’ll be required to remove that within 24 hrs after complaint made. This is designed to respect dignity of women.” New Digital Media Rules Announced in India: Social Media, OTT Content to be Monitored And Blocked If Found Flouting Norms; Watch Video.

Ravi Shankar Prasad’s Statement:

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Social media sites  have to remove or disable offensive or illegal content within 36 hours of a government or legal order. During the press briefing, Prasad said that Social media is welcome to do business in India. He added that these platforms had done well in the country. These laws will come into effect after three months. New Digital Media Rules in India: Social Media, OTT Platforms, Digital News Firms Asked to Comply With Fresh Guidelines And Norms; See Details.

Press Briefing:

Prasad said, “Empowering ordinary users of social media. Must have robust grievance redressal mechanism instituting complaint within 24 hrs and redressal in 15 days. Must have chief compliance officer, nodal contact person and resident grievance officer for significant social media.” if the any social media blocks content of a user, it should give reasons to the user.

Meanwhile, for OTT platforms, there should be self-classification of content — 13+, 16+ and A categories. Javadekar said, “There has to be a mechanism of parental lock and ensuring compliance that children don’t see that.” Javadekar said that the government is not mandating the registration, but only seeking information.

Companies have to appoint a grievance officer for receiving, acknowledging and resolving complaints within a month. There should be a grievance redressal system in OTT platforms and digital portals. OTT platforms will also have to have a self-regulating body, headed by retired Supreme Court or High Court judge or very eminent person in this category.

 

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