On January 27, 2021, the Supreme Court of India stayed the implementation of new laws that were introduced to regulate social media and Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hotstar. The new laws were notified by the government on February 25, 2021, and were set to come into effect from May 26, 2021.
The new rules require social media companies to appoint officers to handle user grievances, remove objectionable content within a specified timeframe, and provide the originator of a message on their platform when required by authorities. The rules also require OTT platforms to self-classify their content into five age-based categories, establish a grievance redressal mechanism, and comply with certain codes of conduct.
Several social media and OTT platforms had challenged the new laws, arguing that they violated the right to privacy and freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under the Indian Constitution. The Supreme Court’s decision to stay the implementation of the new laws means that they will not be enforced until the court makes a final decision on the matter.