A notification issued announcing the change stated digital media platforms such as content providers, online news houses, and OTT platforms will come under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
The notification issued was signed by President Ram Nath Kovind, according to a report by The Hindu
. Government sources told The Print
that MIB had been working on this move to get digital platforms, online news portals, and OTT platforms under their jurisdiction for some time.
This change would not affect social media platforms that showcase user-generated content such as Facebook, YouTube, and more.
In the past, there was no specific governing body regulating content on OTT platforms, which worked in the favor of content creators & filmmakers to engage in uninhibited storytelling but also raised various concerns over the type of content put out. This also led to some platforms agreeing over self-regulation.
It is cited that the jurisdiction will give a more clear picture of what type of content is allowed on the platform, and what is not. As opposed to earlier, when the lines were blurry because of lenient or minimal censorships, and self-regulation.
But government intervention, action against content that goes against the liking of the government, content that the government thinks has the potential of creating law & order problem or affect foreign relations, are some of the concerns raised, sources informed The Print.
While the move will impact content on OTT platforms, a space growing at a rapid rate, also responsible for the growing purchases of smart televisions, it is unclear how the ministry would manage to moderate content on such platforms and digital platforms on the internet as a whole, which scales far wider than the television and print space.
As digital media also comprises content from around the globe, how will this change affect content created, curated, distributed, or broadcasted from foreign lands that may subject the country, is another query awaiting resolution.