Central Reforms In OTT Guidelines Highlight Threats Against "Dignity Of Women"

The Centre has issued new reforms in OTT guidelines and use of social media platforms, with a focus on reducing material that is sensitive or objectionable. Read highlights.

Tanvi Akhauri
Updated On
New Update
Toxic Positivity On Instagram, personal data, Social Media, Social Media Impact

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Thursday announced reforms in OTT guidelines and social media use in the country. The new rules come in light of the centre's decision in November last year to enter regulation of online content juxtaposed with a self-regulation policy for digital platforms.


IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar, addressing a press &">conference, highlighted concerns over derogatory content surrounding women and revenge porn that "threatened the dignity of women" while reviewing reforms in OTT guidelines.

The centre has directed intermediaries to take measures to "remove or disable access" to complaints of content that non-consensually "exposes the private area of any person, shows such person in full or partial nudity or shows or depicts such person in any sexual act or conduct" within 24 hours.

Reforms In OTT Guidelines Check "Sensitive" Material

Under the Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and others will be required to adhere to the Code of Ethics and take down content deemed offensive within 36 hours of a legal order.

"Posts relating to offences related to the sovereignty of India, security, relations with other states and rape must be removed. If you disable content of a user you must give him reasons," the centre said.

Of late, web series like Tandav and Mirzapur have stirred controversy with some viewers finding the content "offensive" to "religious sentiments." Javadekar directed OTT platforms to have self-regulation bodies overseen by retired judges or other prominent persons from the industry in question. A committee comprising members from central ministries will also have "suo moto powers” to keep adherence to the Code of Ethics in check.

Highlights Of Reforms In OTT Guidelines:

  • The three-tier grievance redressal process will come into effect within three months' time
  • "The government welcomes criticism and right to dissent. But it is very important that users be given a forum for a resolution": Prasad
  • IT Rules specify "child" would mean to refer any person below 18 years of age
  • Intermediaries to refrain from hosting or publishing material that is "defamatory, obscene, pornographic, paedophilic, invasive of another’s privacy, including bodily privacy, insulting or harassing on the basis of gender, libellous, racially or ethnically objectionable"
  • Online news media and advertisements also come under the purview of IT Rules 2021
I & B ministry OTT Reforms Social Media Guidelines