Classification of Content, Content Regulation and Ethics – OTT platforms in India

  • Sephali Svati
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  • Sephali Svati

    Student at Symbiosis Law School, Pune

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The research paper covers the subject area of the classification of Content, Content Regulation and Ethics. The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules,2021 were framed under Section 87 of the IT Act,2000 after much debate of regulating these platforms. There was much outcry by nationalists who are against showcasing the harsh realities of Indian society. The issue of regulation of online platforms came in limelight in the year 2018. In the case of Prajwala v. Union of India, the Supreme Court felt the need of content regulation. The main objective of regulating it was to avoid sharing of inappropriate content which spread hate, disharmony and affect the public tranquility. The author has dealt with this in further detail ahead. The paper focuses majorly on the blanket censorship being provided to all the contents. This would not yield the actual aim. Few platforms share exclusive explicit content and some put up the true picture. It thus becomes necessary to classify what should be censored and what not. The role of such contents in shaping the society has also been discussed. The author further discusses Artificial Intelligence (AI) biasness that exists in the realm of social media.
The research gaps that would be dealt with by researcher are: i. Is need for regulation actually being met? ii. Is government trying to curb the freedom of speech and expression under the blanket of regulating Over The Top (hereinafter referred to as OTT) platforms? iii. Is there existence of Data Biasness in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) machinery?
PURPOSE: Main objective of this paper is to shed light upon the type of contents, content regulation and whether such contents are a threat to societal ethics especially in Indian context or they portray the prevailing societal conditions and do not need any regulation.
RESEARCH METHOD: Doctrinal method of research has been used in this paper. It involves case studies, literature reviews, scholarly articles, journals. The Media and Constitutional laws of India have been dealt in detail.
OUTCOME: The author, by adopting the research method aims to achieve a crystal-clear idea of what regulation of content is and whether it is fit to restrict the content within the periphery of ethics.
IMPLICATION: It would affect the society- in order to explain the need for not restricting content, OTT platforms- that sometimes go overboard for profit, Government-to ensure that within the blanket of regulation, the fundamental right of Freedom of speech and expression is not denied.
LIMITATIONS: The work is restricted only to audio-visual online streaming platforms.
NOVELTY: This paper diligently seeks to explore the AI biasness and governments agenda on censoring OTT platforms.


Research Paper


International Journal of Legal Science and Innovation, Volume 3, Issue 4, Page 509 - 525


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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution -NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits remixing, adapting, and building upon the work for non-commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.


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