With the federal government saying a code of ethics for the OTT platforms and making it obligatory to self-classify the content material int 5 age-based classes, the dialogue round regulation of net content material ha as soon as once more gained steam.
Ever for the reason that workforce of net sequence Tandav together with Ali Abbas Zafar and Saif Ali Khan was caught within the eye of storm, there’s a large curiosity sooner or later steps deliberate by the federal government to regulate content material. Especially after the pandemic, when it has turn out to be an essential supply for leisure for a lot of.
“The guidelines show that the government is focusing more on self regulatory control. They are just trying to monitor the content which is coming on OTT platforms. What exact steps and protocols they plan for this should be clear soon. I hope none of them curb creativity and freedom of speech is maintained. Having said that, it was needed because there was so much trolling and negativity and the government had to take the matter in their hand,” explains commerce professional Girish Johar.
As per new guidelines, net platforms can have to self-classify the content material into 5 age-based classes — U (common), U/A 7+, U/A 13+, U/A 16+, and A (grownup). Grievance redressal system has additionally been made obligatory.
For Abhimanyu Singh, creator of State of Siege: 26/11, ranking system is an effective factor to have occurred.
“It becomes simpler for parents to decide what the children should be watching and what they shouldn’t be watching. I always felt that some kind of guidelines needed to be put in place. It will even help makers decide what kind of content they want to make,” Singh tells us.
According to actor Maanvi Gagroo, misogynistic and gender regressive content material wants to be put beneath the scanner.
“Freedom of speech and expression for any creative work is important and as long as the regulations remain within the purview of the current laws and don’t become vague and/or propaganda driven, I think we’re fine. Although, we could update regulations around content that’s misogynistic, gender regressive and caste insensitive, everything is more or less covered”.
Whatever laws come into place, she additional asserts, “need to be well defined and not be open to multiple interpretations and at the same time be extremely careful about not impeding the creator’s freedom of expression”.
Earlier this year, 17 outstanding OTT gamers of the nation together with Netflix, Disney+ Hotstar and Amazon Prime Video, had adopted a toolkit primarily based on the Universal Self-regulation Code.
However, a current survey by LocalCircles, which was ready utilizing responses from over 50,000 OTT customers, revealed that 78% respondents wished more info on OTT code of regulation and had little understanding about it.
The report additionally pointed that the customers are leaning in the direction of the ranking system together with content material kind — an concept that filmmaker Hansal Mehta additionally approves of.
“One can rate the content to inform the audience whether it has nudity, sex, drug use or violence. One can put in categories, what else one need to do in it,” says Mehta, including, “I don’t understand the word ‘code of conduct’. Are we in school? Where they tell one how to behave. One can put out self regulation guidelines, which people can follow.”
According to commerce professional Joginder Tuteja, OTT as a medium ought to be left untouched.
“It has to be left to the makers. I don’t think there should be anything black or white, where it is always open for interpretation. We have that with the Censor board where things have been happening when it comes to movie releases in the theatres and there are many issues and controversies,” he says.
Tuteja additionally states that makers will need to have that sort of “credibility, the thought process, and the need to have the due diligence to do what they have to do”.
Actor Namit Das, who’s frequent together with his OTT outings, feels the platform gained prominence as a result of there have been no laws.
“Having said that, I think now we have come to a stage where it is full blown. It is a separate medium. Now, all creators need to have some sort of a responsibility whenever they are putting out something on any platform because we are going through a very sensitive time, and anything that is wrongly placed can hurt the sentiments of a particular population. One should be careful about that, because this medium has really become big now. It’s no longer the medium for young people,” Namit explains, calling OTT a “medium for everyone”.