Suppose you are watching something while sitting on TV and your whole family is sitting with you, suddenly the mother-sister abuses and porn starts? Digital content platforms created a similar environment. The same problem was with OTT platforms. Everything that could not come on TV or be shown in cinema halls, they were being shown there. Now under the Ministry of I&B along with online news portals Have come.
On Ekta Kapoor’s platform ‘Alt Balaji’, a B-grade show ‘Gandy Baat’ came in which was nothing but vulgarity and in a way pornography was being brought to the mainstream. In this, the name of Chetak, the horse of Maharana Pratap, was used offensively. This is just one example, from ‘Patal Lok’ and ‘Mirzapur’ to ‘Ashram’, such things have been happening continuously.
Why was it necessary to control OTT platforms?
In all the web series that have come so far, whatever the story is, but the emphasis was put on sneaking obscenity. Nobody had control over them. He was not supposed to get a certificate from any censor board. Mixing sex and abuses made anything, which children are watching too. There is nothing that can prevent children from seeing such harmful content. Everyone had access, login and see.
One to one materials are available on the Internet. If a website is banned, then there are many ways to view it with the help of VPN or by other means. However, the problem was that big brands like Amazon, Hotstar, MX Player, Alt Balaji and Netflix were mainstreaming and adding such content which is lewd and vulgar and even degrading to women.
An example of this was also seen in several recently released web series, which not only promoted Hinduphobia fiercely, but also kept the sex scenes and mother-sister abuses in focus. Those who raised the voice for the rights of women also kept silence on these web series, which constantly used offensive language for women. Do whatever you want, serve more and reach more than TV-cinema.
– Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) November 11, 2020
Earlier, ‘Internet and Mobile Association of India’ had come up with a self-regulation code, which was rejected by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. It was signed by 15 OTT platforms and talked about self-regulation. Since the government had also rejected the system of censorship, calling for self-regulation, these platforms had talked about being transparent on a range of issues including age limits, full information about content and access control.
Union IB Minister Prakash Javadekar talked about self-regulation
Recently, Editor of Opindia Ajit Bharti also interviewed Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar, in which he was asked questions in this subject. When asked the Union Minister what kind of challenges are there in the digital medium at present? So he responded by saying that this is a very important aspect and he believes that digital media should self-regulate it themselves, but if they need help, they are ready to help. They Told further:
“It is having both good and bad results. Therefore, we have asked the OTT platform to make good self-regulation. You can also say to digital media, because the content is organic. But it is difficult to rein in disorganized content. Create a mechanism, which has credibility and no one complains and because of this, there are improvements and if no one does, the options are always open to the government. ”
The central government has extended these platforms many times. At the beginning of March 2020, he was given 100 days to create a ‘Code of Conduct’ by creating an institution. In a 45-minute meeting in New Delhi, these platforms refused to be part of the ‘Digital Content Complaint Council (DCCC)’ and Amazon Prime even objected to any such idea.
It is not that the government did not ask them to make rules and regulations earlier. Prakash Javadekar also in October 2019 They were interrupted And had said that they should bring their own terms with them, on which everyone can agree. DCCC was constituted and retired Judge AP Shah was appointed its Chairman in February 2019. The minister had said directly that the things that the family sees together, they need to be controlled.
The specialty of these platforms is that government schemes and laws can be misrepresented by using it. Child pornography is promoted and women are insulted. It is used to make a special Narrative. National symbols are insulted to hurt religious sentiments. And nowadays, comedy shows are also put on it under special agenda.
In fact, before this self-regulatory mechanism was created, there was no classification about restricted contents, it was believed by the government. Their organizations had only one independent member, which obviously would have been in minority. Then everything would go on like it used to. Therefore, now their coming under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting will help in preventing the transmission of banned content.
On Monday (November 9, 2020), the central government issued a gadget notification signed by President Ram Nath Kovind, stating that all OTT platforms are now under the Ministry of I&B. As of now there is no autonomous body nor any law to control these contents. There is PCI for the media and censor boards for the cinema, but till now they were roaming freely.
Now the question is what next? Now the government will issue guidelines to control these contents and they will have to follow it. Now if the children are not able to see the content, then they have to be separately classified and clearly told which content belongs in which category. Like print or electronic media, there will be rules for them. However, what it will be like – it will be clear in a few days. Currently these OTT platforms have been brought under the Ministry of I&B.