Union Minister Prakash Javadekar
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar

Union Minister of Information & Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar today held an interaction with representatives of various OTT platforms including from Alt Balaji, Hotstar, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Jio and more. The minister said that in the self-regulating body, no member will be appointed by the government.

Representatives of Zee5, Viacom18, Shemaroo and MxPlayer were also a part of the interaction. The minister explained the newly presented provisions of the OTT rules. The Ministry has partnered with the industry to make the OTT experience better for all audience.

In the last week, on February 25, the ministry of Information and Broadcasting had issued new set of guidelines for the moderation of content on OTT platforms, Social media and the online news media. Few web series like Tandav, Mirzapur have drawn controversies over its content. Amazon Prime video head is in hot water for it's series Tandav which has been accused of hurting religious sentiments.

In its guidelines, the ministry had said, "Since the OTT services do not come under the purview of the Censor Board, the new rules require the films to be vetted and given a rating of "U" and "A" before being streamed".

The government's claim is that streaming of uncensored films on OTT can cause communal, social and caste violence. It says many countries are putting checks in place to protect the people from misleading and false information.

As regards the curbs on OTTs, the government said: "The guidelines have been framed keeping in mind the difference between viewership in a theatre, as against watching it on Internet"

It is asserted that the new rules focus more on an in-house and self-regulation mechanism, whereby a robust grievance redressal mechanism has been provided, while upholding journalistic and creative freedom.

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Free Press Journal