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Amazon expands Support for Multiple Indian Languages, Streaming Platforms choose Self-regulation over Statutory Rules and more.
Amazon expands Support for Multiple Indian Languages, Streaming Platforms choose Self-regulation over Statutory Rules, Social Media Platforms and Advertisers check Harmful Content, Pakistan bans Dating Apps citing Immoral Content and Chingari and T-Series sign Licensing Deal.
Amazon expands Support for Multiple Indian Languages
The E-commerce giant, Amazon, has recently added support for a few more Indian languages on its website and apps. Apart from the previously added support for Hindi, which is the most popular language in India, Amazon’s apps and devices now also support Tamil, Telegu, Malayalam and Kannada, in a bid to add hundreds millions of new users. This move by Amazon, is in anticipation of the upcoming Indian festival Diwali, during which the E-commerce platform has always seen a surge in online shopping.
Amazon had already seen a marked increase in the number of users in India, after it had added support for Hindi, on its website and apps in the year 2018 and people switched to the Hindi language option while shopping. Adding support for more Indian languages on its website and app is also a competitive move for Amazon, since its rival in India, Flipkart, recently added support for Tamil, Telegu and Kannada, which are languages that are spoken by roughly 200 million people in the country.
Streaming Platforms choose Self-regulation over Statutory Rules
Several streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney+ Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video and Voot among others, have decided to self-regulate the content that is made available on their respective platforms in India, rather than being governed by statutory rules, like the Cinematograph Act. The self-regulation terms will be based on the Self Regulation Code for Online Curated Content Platforms, which was released by the Internet and Mobile Association of India, on 4th September. This is the third version of the Self-Regulation Code that has been released, as the previous two versions gained very few signatories, as compared to the latest version, which has 17 (seventeen) signatories.
As per the terms of the Code, all signatories are required to implement age ratings, content descriptors, and to provide technical controls such as parental locks and passwords to access adult content. The Self Regulation Code is specifically framed for Online Curated Content Platforms (OCCP), which helps to differentiate it from User Generated Content (UGC). Considering the fact that a large section of the population in India subscribes to streaming platforms, which only seems to have increased during the COVID-19 lockdown, this is the right time for implementing a Self Regulation Code to monitor such online curated content.
Social Media Platforms and Advertisers check Harmful Content
Several major advertisers had recently boycotted Facebook, due to anti-racism demonstrations that followed the death of George Floyd, an American Black man, in police custody. Following this, the advertisers stated that social media platforms rarely take any action to prevent ads from appearing alongside hate speech, fake news and other harmful content. Since then, social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have reached an agreement with several advertisers, with regard to different ways to reduce and keep in check any content that can be deemed harmful.
In order to avoid any additional government regulations, the social media platforms have decided on other methods to monitor the content. As per the new agreement announce by the World Federation of Advertisers, common definitions would be adopted for forms of harmful content such as hate speech and bullying, and platforms would adopt harmonised reporting standards.
Pakistan bans Dating Apps citing Immoral Content
Popular apps like Tinder, Grindr, SayHi, Tagged and Skout have been banned by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), based on the claims that these social networking apps have failed to moderate and monitor their content in accordance with Pakistan’s laws. This move by the PTA was criticised by digital rights group Bytes For All, stating that the people had a right to review the content and decide for themselves whether or not such content was immoral. The PTA banned these apps in order to deal with the “negative effects of immoral/indecent content.”
The PTA also stated that the ban on the apps could be lifted if the apps can prove that they are “moderating the indecent/immoral content through meaningful engagement”.
Chingari and T-Series sign Licensing Deal
Chingari, a video sharing platform developed in India, has signed a licensing deal with the music production company, T-Series, thereby allowing it to use T-Series’ music catalogue, on its platform. Through this deal, Chingari’s users in India, SAARC nations and the Middle East can access the content licensed from T-Series.
This collaboration will allow Chingari’s users to choose from several songs of T-Series and include those songs in their creations.
Authored and compiled by Neharika Vhatkar (Associate, BananaIP Counsels)
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