Are you worried that you might have to change your digital content strategy due to Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s recently released digital content guidelines? Be assured that your marketing strategy is safe from these rules and regulations as long as you don’t post anything controversial.
So the question is, to whom these content guidelines are relevant? Well, it’s appropriate to everyone working in the digital space, but a significant share of these rules and regulations concerns social media companies and OTT stream services.
While revealing the reason behind this step in a press conference, Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Information & Broadcast Minister Prakash Javadekar said, “we want to establish a soft touch progressive institutional mechanism with a level playing field featuring a Code of Ethics and a three-tier grievance redresser framework for news publishers and OTT platforms on the digital media.” (Source Code- India Today)
At the level of OTT service providers, if a complaint is not addressed satisfactorily, it would advance to a self-regulatory body collectively formed by OTTs. As for the content on social media sites, the service providers will be subjected to more accountability with strict laws to enforce it.
In case you don’t know what these guidelines are, here are ten bullet points that will get you up to date with them.
It will be necessary for Social Media giants to appoint an India-based compliance officer and inform the user of the reasons for taking down his/her posts.
If any mischievous message is being floated around on Social media platforms, it will have to reveal the “first originator.”
The government will set up an oversight mechanism which will have a committee with representatives from ministries of Defense, External Affairs, Home, I&B, Law, IT, Women & Child Development.
The government would assign an officer for a joint secretary or above as the “Authorized Officer,” who will command blocking of content.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting will release a charter for self-regulating bodies, including codes of practices.
Digital News Media will adhere to the rules under the Press Council of India.
OTT Service providers will be required to put self-classification on its content, that is 13+, 16+ or adult, based on sex, violence, and nudity. The idea is to ensure that kids don’t have access to content that is not right.
Social Media companies will have to remove/disable content deemed offensive or illegal within 24 hours of being notified or in the court order.
Social Media companies and tech giants will be required to designate a grievance officer to receive, acknowledge and resolve complaints within a month.
Three-tier grievance redresses mechanism for self-regulation to execute the code of ethics effectively. Level – 1: Self-regulation by publishers. Level – 2: Self-regulation by the self-regulating bodies of the publishers. Level – 3: Oversight mechanism.
Digital marketers don’t have anything to worry about as these regulations have been implemented to curb the ‘misuse’ of digital space.