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    Streaming services received 489 grievances in April 2024

    In April 2024, the cumulative number of grievances filed across major online streaming platforms, including JioCinema, Disney+Hotstar, Netflix, and Sony Liv, totalled 489 of which 464 were disposed of during the month. Of all the major platforms, JioCinema was the one that received the most number of grievances: 420. It was followed by Netflix which received 53 grievances during the month, Sony Liv which received 15, and Disney+Hotstar which only received 1 grievance. Besides the grievances received in April, 32 and 2 grievances respectively for Netflix and Disney+Hotstar were pending disposal from the previous month. Netflix was the only streaming service to receive an order from the government/self-regulatory bodies regarding its content.

    Out of the total grievances received, only 25 were related to violations of the Code of Ethics under the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021. This underscores a prevalent trend of non-ethical-related issues among users’ concerns. Of the companies who have published their grievance redressal data, only JioCinema and Netflix had grievances related to violations of the Code of Ethics. Of the two, JioCinema had 1 Code of Ethics-related grievance and Netflix had 24. 

    What does the code of ethics say?

    • Those publishing online curated content will not exhibit content that is prohibited under any law or prohibited by any court of competent jurisdiction.
    • Publishers shall exercise due caution and discretion when deciding to feature content that affects the sovereignty and integrity of India, threatens the security of the state, is detrimental to India’s friendly relations with foreign countries and is likely to incite violence or disturb the maintenance of public order.
    • Publishers shall exercise due caution when featuring the activities, beliefs, practices, or views of any racial or religious group.
    • Shall classify content for various age groups. The classification of content shall be based on themes and messages, violence, nudity, sex, language, drug and substance abuse, and horror. The classification shall be prominently displayed with a content descriptor informing the user about the nature of a programme before watching it.
    • Publishers must have access control mechanisms including parental locks for content classified as 13+ or higher.
    • Publishers must implement a reliable age verification mechanism for content that is classified as adult.
    • Promotional material for a piece of content must display the classification associated with the piece of content.
    • Publishers must take reasonable efforts to improve the accessibility of their content to persons with disabilities.

    What about self-regulatory bodies?

    The IT Rules, 2021 require streaming services to form self-regulatory bodies that ensure adherence to the Code of Ethics. There are two self-regulatory bodies for streaming services currently in operation namely— 

    • The Indian Broadcasting and Digital Foundation’s (IBDF) Digital Media Content Regulatory Council (DMCRC): The self-regulatory body for Amazon Prime Video, AltBalaji, Netflix etc
    • Internet and Mobile Association of India’s (IAMAI) Digital Publishers Content Grievances Council (DPCGC): The self-regulatory body for Disney+Hotstar, SonyLiv, Zee5 etc.

    Of the two, DMCRC does not have any updated information about the orders it has passed or about the report it sends to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB). The last order passed by DMCRC that is up on IBDF’s website is from June 30, 2022

    For DPCGC, the last report filed to the MIB is from March 2024, which states that it received 7 grievances/appeals during the month, of which 6 were resolved. Of the grievances received, 1 was related to the code of ethics.

    [Note: The grievance redressal data for Amazon Prime, Amazon MiniTV, AltBalaji and Voot was not available for the month of April.]

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    The post Streaming services received 489 grievances in April 2024 appeared first on MEDIANAMA.

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