Draft govt policy seeks 3-tier checks for OTTs

• Draft is titled Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, under Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000.

About:
• Guidelines aims to make social media intermediaries and OTT platforms more accountable for the content shared through their platforms.
• Section 87 of the IT Act 2000 empowers the government to do so.

• Need for regulation arises due to their rapid growth, concerns regarding objectionable content, hurting religious sentiments etc.

• OTT are online platforms that curate a range of content and present it on a singular platform like Netflix, Amazon prime etc.

• Currently, social media houses and OTT platforms are not responsible for content, unlike traditional media firms.

Key highlights of the draft:

• Guidelines cover social media companies, OTT platforms, digital news media etc.

Proposed 3-Tier Regulatory Framework:

• First tier: Grievance redressal by the company itself;

• Second tier: Regulatory body like Press Council of India to be headed by a retired judge of a High Court or the Supreme Court.

• Third tier: Inter-ministerial committee headed by a joint secretary level officer.

• Competent authorities may demand pertinent information for prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution of crimes.

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Mains Paper 2: Polity

Prelims level: Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021

Mains level: Proposed 3-Tier Regulatory Framework

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