OTT platforms face pressure on content by the Government !

Savey Wangkit Lepcha
Savey Wangkit Lepcha
OTT Platforms under pressure by the government on their content

Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, two OTT (over-the-top) streaming providers, are under pressure. They must abide by the Information Technology Rules, 2021. These OTT platforms must show more caution when it comes to streaming adult content. This is true even though two High Courts have blocked portions of the IT Rules requiring them to designate a grievance officer and remove information upon a self-regulatory body’s request.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has issued two notifications regarding the situation. The first one was released in February 2022. This directed the streaming platforms to provide the contact information for a grievance officer on their websites. The second, released on March 24 of this year, instructed streaming services to use “abundant caution in ensuring that films and web series do not fall [a]foul of the Code of Ethics” as issued by IT Rules.

‘Respect Indian sensibilities’ on OTT Contents

Anurag Thakur, the I&B minister, recently issued a warning to streaming services.  The ott platform must not produce anything that offends Indian cultural sensitivities. These firms have generally ceased publishing popular series and programs with sensitive political or religious topics. Inquiries on the legal implications of its warnings to streaming services. In the wake of the High Court stays were not answered by the Ministry.

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At a gathering on Wednesday, Mr. Thakur said that “There are numerous complaints about the kind of content that should not be on TV, that is shown on OTT.” The Ministry will address the issue with streaming services in the next week. He continued and would highlight whether specific television shows or films are pushing the government to get more involved in streaming rules.


Due to the suspension of the Code of Ethics by the Bombay and Madras High Courts. According to the Internet Freedom Foundation, the provisions of Rule 9(1) of the IT Rules, 2021 no longer apply to OTT Platforms.

In addition to the official advice, a self-regulatory group with members. Such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and ALTBalaji published their own internal advisory to streaming companies. In a warning to streaming platforms on April 10, Justice (Ret.) A.K. Sikri, chair of the Grievance Redressal Board of the Digital Publisher Content Grievances Council (DPCGC). He stated that some websites ” do not appear to be in strict compliance with the law”.

Minimal complaints against OTT content

According to disclosures on its website, the DPCGC is one of the self-regulatory bodies for streaming services. Received just one complaint each in the two months preceding that month and no appeals about content in February or March.

Although streaming providers list the age classification and substance of their films and TV shows on their websites. Mr. Thakur expressed his displeasure at the event that the content was inappropriate for family viewing. That much is obvious, Mr. Thakur said: “We cannot allow vulgarity in the name of innovation.

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