OTTs give freedom for creativity, not profanity, says I&B Minister | Latest News India

The government will not tolerate profanity and offensive language on behalf of creativity, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said Sunday, targeting streaming services including Netflix, Hotstar, Amazon Prime and Zee Video, among others.

Union Minister Anurag Singh Thakur addresses a news conference in Nagpur on March 19. (PTI)

“The government takes seriously the complaints about increasingly abusive and obscene content on OTT (over-the-top) platforms,” ​​he told reporters in Nagpur, according to a ministry statement. “If changes need to be made to the regulations in this regard, the Department stands ready to consider it.”

“These platforms were given freedom for creativity, not profanity. And if someone crosses a line, then abuse, rudeness in the name of creativity cannot be accepted at all,” the minister said. “Whatever necessary action needs to be taken, the government will not shy away from it.”

Most complaints so far have had to be addressed by the manufacturer, Thakur said. About 90% of complaints are resolved by them making necessary changes, he added.

“The next level of grievance resolution is the federation level, where most grievances are resolved. At the last level, it comes down to the government level, where action is taken at the departmental committee level according to the rules in force,” he said. “But somewhere there has been an increase in complaints over the last few days and the department takes that very seriously.”

Intermediary guidelines introduced in February 2021 brought OTT platforms under government regulation for the first time. The streaming platforms must adhere to a code of conduct and ensure their content is compliant. A three-tier platform redress mechanism has also been introduced to handle user complaints.

The government has also demanded that satellite television and streaming services such as Netflix, Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video and other digital media outlets must immediately stop broadcasting gambling and betting advertisements aimed at an Indian audience or face punitive action, the ministry said in a consultation last year.


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