A Fourth Estate® Service

Thursday, January 21, 2021

India to Regulate Online Content, News, and Social Media

The Indian government has ordered online news portals and content providers such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hotstar under the control and regulations of the Information and Broadcasting ministry.

The Indian government has ordered online news portals and content providers such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hotstar under the control and regulations of the Information and Broadcasting ministry.

“In the Government of India (Allocation of Business, 1961, in THE SECOND SCHEDULE, under the heading ‘MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING (SOOCHANA AUR PRASARAN MANTRALAYA)’ after entry 22, the following sub-heading and entries shall be inserted namely:- VA. DIGITAL/ONLINE MEDIA. 22A. Films and Audio-Visual programmes made available by online content providers. 22B. News and current affairs content on online platforms,” said the Cabinet Secretariat on the official government gazette.

The said order would also regulate news content published on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Videos and audio content on online platforms will also come under the domain of the ministry.

The order was made after the Information and Broadcasting Ministry raised concerns that there was a lot of unregulated content, namely news online and Over the top (OTT) platforms that had escaped any architecture of regulation. 

The Indian government said that neither of those mentioned by the ministry was under the domain of the Press Council of India and Television and the Cable Networks Regulation Act (2005.)

There are still no details on how the ministry would make rules and policies for online content and no group within the ministry has been given the responsibility for monitoring the said content for now.

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