OTT Platforms Will Now Be Regulated. On 11th November, The government of India issued a notification that digital news platforms like ThePrint.in and TheWire and OTT platforms such as Netflix, Amazon, Disney+Hotstar will now be regulated under the information and broadcasting ministry. The following news brought chaos to many digital news outlets and OTT content creators. The following action might not be more than just another notification, But have a larger implication of how digital news and content is consumed.
Reason For The Action
Information and Broadcasting ministry has found from their stance that OTT platforms and Digital News have many flaws. Without digging deep into any examples, The notification only suggests that the online content must be regulated. Many in the ministry in their views and personal capacity suggested that content on the online platform is bad and unregulated and needs a framework similar to TV media. Another argument present from the government tells that online content can be used to spread malicious and propaganda content.
Print media is regulated by the press council of India. Similarly, TV news and entertainment are regulated by Cable Network Regulation Act 1995. The government argues that media such as TV, Radio, and Print are regulated, And so the online content should follow the same. The action came one month after the hearing from the supreme court about regulating online content. Centre and The Internet and Mobile Association of India filed a petition for the same.
Was It A Surprise?
Many in the business of digital news and OTT platforms have anticipated such action. From the statements and other unofficial means, the following government did make it clear that they will regulate online content. The push for regulating online content has already made many people anxious about their current projects. The Supreme Court of India has told the government to improve self-regulating frameworks after the Sudarshan news controversy. Censoring content is a very complicated issue and needs large societal support to implement such actions.
The government in its current political capacity has the will and ability to push such laws. But censorship is bad, And will only degrade the struggling creative pursuit of Indian content makers. Movies and TV serials have become weak and uncreative, And a big reason for that is the Censor Board of India. Before the law, OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon, Disney+hotstar need not get any permission from the Censor Board. But after the law coming into action, This may change.
How Will This Work
You may have a lot of questions about this issue. Whether Youtube, Twitter, and other User Generated Content will be censored? Will this lead to banning social media sites for not regulating content? For now, there is little to no clarity about how this will be actually implemented. But many worries that the government will censor much online content that is against its policy. People fear that the government may use the China Model of censoring content by creating a virtual domestic internet. For now, these are far-fetched assumptions; And have nothing to do with the notification of the government. But adding to the point, Politicians do not like Humor and Satire especially when it’s tagged on them. We just need to wait for a few months before we get clarity on this censorship journey.