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GOVERNMENT NOTIFIES INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (INTERMEDIARYGUIDELINES AND DIGITAL MEDIA ETHICS CODE) RULES 2021

GOVERNMENT NOTIFIES INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (INTERMEDIARYGUIDELINES AND DIGITAL MEDIA ETHICS CODE) RULES 2021

Context

The Centre announced guidelines and digital media ethics code for Over The Top (OTT), online streaming and social media platforms.

Details

  • Under the guidelines, the social media platforms have to appoint a Chief Compliance Officer of complaints, Nodal Contact person and a Resident Grievance officer. 
  • The social media platforms will be required to disclose the first originator of the mischievous contents.
  • Code of Ethics for online news, OTT platforms and digital media: This Code of Ethics prescribe the guidelines to be followed by OTT platforms and online news and digital media entities.
  • Self-Classification of Content: The OTT platforms, called as the publishers of online curated content in the rules, would self-classify the content into five age based categories- U (Universal), U/A 7+, U/A 13+, U/A 16+, and A (Adult). Platforms would be required to implement parental locks for content classified as U/A 13+ or higher, and reliable age verification mechanisms for content classified as “A”.
  • A three-level grievance redressal mechanism has been established under the rules with different levels of self-regulation.
    • Level-I: Self-regulation by the publishers;
    • Level-II: Self-regulation by the self-regulating bodies of the publishers;
    • Level-III: Oversight mechanism.
  • Self-regulation by the Publisher: Publisher shall appoint a Grievance Redressal Officer based in India who shall be responsible for the redressal of grievances received by it. The officer shall take a decision on every grievance received by it within 15 days.
  • Self-Regulatory Body: There may be one or more self-regulatory bodies of publishers. Such a body shall be headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court, a High Court or independent eminent person and have not more than six members.
  • Oversight Mechanism: Ministry of Information and Broadcasting shall formulate an oversight mechanism. It shall publish a charter for self-regulating bodies, including Codes of Practices. It shall establish an Inter-Departmental Committee for hearing grievances. 

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