The Information and Broadcasting Ministry is likely to issue a negative list of don’ts for video streaming services or Over-The-Top platforms like Netflix and Hotstar by the end of this year.

  • The Ministry is also nudging the platforms to come up with a self-regulatory body on the lines of the News Broadcasting Standards Authority.
  • In January, eight video streaming services had signed a self-regulatory code that laid down a set of guiding principles for the content on these platforms.
  • The move was to pre-empt any attempt by the government to impose censorship.
  • Nationwide consultations are being on the issue of streamlining the content on these portals.
  • The first of these consultations was held in Mumbai, which was attended by 18 companies including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Zee 5 and Reliance Jio.
  • Another session is planned in Chennai. The concluding session is set to be held in Delhi in the second week of November.
  • The negative list will include a few non-negotiables that will be prohibited. This will be basic things like ensuring that the Indian map is depicted correctly, to ensure that women are not depicted in a denigrating manner.
  • The ministry said that the list would in no way curtail the freedom of expression or stop the content makers from criticizing the government.
  • A self-regulatory body is also being thought about, drawing members from among themselves like the News Broadcasting Standards Authority.
  • The body will not be expected to do any pre-censorship of the content
The code adopted by the OTTs in January prohibited five types of content:
  1. Content which deliberately and maliciously disrespects the national emblem or national flag.
  2. Anything visual or a storyline that promotes child pornography.
  3. Any content that “maliciously” intends to outrage religious sentiments.
  4. Content that “deliberately and maliciously” promotes or encourages
  5. Any content that has been banned for exhibition or distribution by law or a Court.
Food for Thought: Is Self-Regulation for Streaming Services a good idea considering the experience with Self-Regulation in Mainstream media Also read: Opaque censorship leaves Twitter users chafing Censor Board