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 reports. Reportedly MIB had been working on this move 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 where most OTT platforms followed 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.
It is unclear how the ministry would manage moderating content on such platforms and 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.