Alongside the new guidelines for OTT platforms over classification ratings and grievance redressals, the government of India has also launched new guidelines for social media platforms that include punishment for publishing offensive content, social media platforms having to publish a monthly compliance report, and the removal of offensive content within 24 hours, among other rules. The new set of guidelines for social media platforms come alongside the new framework launched for OTT platforms, which will require them to self-classify content, and follow a three-level grievance redressal mechanism.
The new guidelines for social media platforms require significant social media platforms (platforms having a user base over a certain threshold) will need to enable the identification of the first originator of the information for publishing offensive content. This person is liable for an imprisonment of > 5 years. Apart from this, prominent platforms also need to appoint a Chief Compliance Officer, a Nodal Contract Person, and a Resident Grievance Officer. They will also need to publish a monthly compliance report with details of complaints received and action taken. The prominent social media platforms are also required to take down all offensive content within 24 hours of receipt of a complaint. Others shall acknowledge within 24 hours and resolve the overall issue within 15 days.
Apart from this, the new guidelines pertain to OTT platforms, as previously reported. Here are a few key highlights for OTT platforms:
-OTT platforms now have to self-classify content into 5 age-based categories – U, 7+, 13+, 16+ and A which need to be displayed. Parental locks and age verification mechanisms to be applied as per the content rating.
-OTT content will be governed by a 3-level grievance redressal mechanism – (1) self regulation by platform, (2) self-regulatory body and (3) oversight mechanism formulated by Ministry of Information & Broadcasting
-News on OTT platforms will have to observe the guidelines set by Press Council of India and the Cable Television Networks Regulation Act to bring it in line with print and TV news.