A day after social media platforms were asked for their compliance status with the new digital rules taking effect on Wednesday, 26 May, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry (I&B), has now sought information from digital news websites and OTT platforms, such as Amazon Prime and Netflix, on their compliance status.
The I&B ministry issued a notice on Thursday, May 27, with three separate forms – for print or TV outlets with digital channels, digital-only news websites, and OTT platforms to provide information under Rule 18 of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.
The Narendra Modi government has given 15 days to digital news websites and OTT platforms for the required information to be furnished.
In February, the IT Rules, 2021, had outlined for the first time how digital news organisations, social media and OTT platforms will be regulated by the government.
What Information Has Been Sought?
All digital media sites are required to have a grievance redressal mechanism wherein compliance officials will work on complaint resolution, monitor and remove objectionable content, and issue compliance reports. The law also brought digital news media under the rules of the Press Council.
Moreover, the rules involve self-regulation by the publishers, registration of self-regulating bodies of the publishers with the Ministry, and finally, an oversight mechanism for news sites.
For print media/TV channels the Ministry has sought information such as the title, the language in which it is published, the website URL, mobile apps and social media accounts.
Formulated by the I&B Ministry, the oversight mechanism will publish a charter for self-regulating bodies, including Codes of Practices, the Centre had announced.
The government will also designate an officer of the rank of a Joint Secretary or above as the “Authorised Officer” who can direct blocking of content.
Meanwhile, three separate forms were released as newspapers are registered under the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867, and private satellite TV channels are permission holders under the Uplinking and Downlinking Guidelines (2011) of the Ministry.