Topic – Indian polity – Issues
2) What do you understand by online curated content providers? Do you think adoption of self regulation amounts to unnecessary censorship? (250 words)
Why this question
The article highlights the decision of OCCs to start self regulating themselves to curate their content instead of waiting for government to make regulations. We are expected to examine whether self regulation amounts to censorship and its impact on free speech.
Structure of the answer
Introduction – highlight that digital media is on the rise and is fast becoming the staple way through which we consume our entertainment leading to worries about lack of censorship on such platforms.
- Explain about what online curated content providers are – clutch of over-the-top (OTT) video streaming platforms adopted a self-regulatory content code to avoid probable government censorship. Among the signatories are streaming platforms of big broadcasting companies such as Hotstar, Voot, Zee5 and SonyLIV as well as independent firms such as Arre, ALT Balaji, Netflix and Eros Now. In the self-regulatory Code of Best Practices signed under the aegis of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), the streaming platforms have been referred to as Online Curated Content Providers.
- Highlight the issues that lack of censorship in digital media space were causing in terms of impact on impressionable minds. Also explain that the stakeholders thought it wise to adopt best practices before a government department stepped in and imposed unnecessary censorship. The pressure mounted as public interest litigations (PILs) and complaints against the OTT platforms started emerging.
- Highlight about similar measures taken in related industries such as advertising which follows self-regulation through the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) and Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) for non-news channels respectively etc. Discuss the impact such self regulations have had on freedom of speech and government censorship.
Conclusion – Give your view and discuss way forward.