OTT platforms including Netflix, Hotstar and Amazon Prime Video are now under government scrutiny. OTT apps will also require a forum to handle grievances. OTT platforms will have to disclose their details, form a grievance redressal system, and self-classify content as U (universal), 7+, 13+, 16+ and A (adult) categories as part of the 3-stair mechanism formulated by the government.
"We have decided to have a 3-stair mechanism for OTT platforms. OTT and digital news media will have to disclose their details. We are not mandating registration, we are seeking information," said Union Minister Prakash Javadekar in a press conference with Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
"There should be a grievance redressal system in OTT platforms and digital portals. OTT platforms will have to have a self-regulating body, headed by a retired Supreme Court or High Court judge or very eminent person in this category," said Javadekar.
Platforms will also be required to implement parental locks for content classified as U/1 13+ or higher, and a reliable age verification mechanism for content classified as 'A'.
Norms of Journalistic Conduct of the Press Council of India and the Programme Code under the Cable Television Networks Regulation Act must be followed by publishers of news on digital media, thereby providing a level playing field between offline and digital media.
Javadekar, along with Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad listed the new norms for social media platforms, and OTT platform in a press conference on Thursday. Prasad said that objectionable content must be removed within 24 hours. He added that the originator of the objectionable content must also be disclosed. "Action will be taken to stop abuse of social media," said the minister.