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Govt will now monitor OTT and digital news content

Govt will now monitor OTT and digital news content

Eastern Times, November 11-2020, New Delhi: The Union government has decided on bringing digital news platforms and OTT players under the jurisdiction of the information & broadcasting ministry.

The ministry will regulate “films and audio-visual programmes made available by online content providers” and “news and content affairs content on online platforms,” according to a gazette notification by the government, dated November 9.

This implies that content displayed on OTT platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, etc besides digital news portals will now come under the purview of the central ministry.

I&B ministry officials had earlier said that it has proposed to take over the jurisdiction of online content regulation from the ministry of electronics and information technology. The government has been harping on need for level playing field between different across media.

This censorship comes at a time when there have been rising concerns about the content streamed on OTT platforms. While the Central Board of Film Certification certifies content screened across theatres, OTT platforms are not required to get the approval of any certification body for content showcased on their platforms.

In September, the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) had stated that 15 OTT platforms have come together as signatories for adoption of the Universal Self-Regulation Code. However, it did not find any support or endorsement from the I&B Ministry.

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