OTT rules and no ‘upload filter’

The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, framed in exercise of powers under section 87 (2) of the IT Act, 2000, supersede the earlier IT (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules 2011 and provide guidelines and a code of ethics for not just social media platforms, but also for digital media in general and OTT platforms. Both MeITY (Part- II of the rules) and ministry of information and broadcasting (Part-III relating to code of ethics and procedure and safeguards concerning digital media) have been provided an administrative role.

The rules don’t come as a surprise, as there has been much debate on regulating social media platforms and OTT platforms. The global might of social media platforms is propelling various countries to sit up and take a particular position based on their purported internal policy and domestic challenges. Canada, Australia, China and Iran have in various ways taken (some withdrawn) a strong stance against certain activities and facilities of such platforms. It does seem like 2021 will be remembered as the year of social media platforms. Oddly the pandemic in 2020 made these platforms really relevant to the common man and their governments the world over; and, now, it is these very platforms that seem to pose the most imminent threat to elected governments. While ironic, this is a reality that needs to be dealt with.

Please click here to read the full article by Sajai Singh, published in The Financial Express.