As the nation fights the coronavirus pandemic, another pandemic of sorts has been unleashed by a certain section of so-called ‘content creators’ on YouTube. Crossing all lines of decency, some YouTubers have now resorted to ‘sexual abuse pranks’ with the National Commission of Women (NCW) chief, Rekha Sharma taking cognisance of the same.
After the issue of pranks that portray sexual abuse or rape was highlighted by a Twitter page ‘Youth Against Rape,’ where some content creators on YouTube harass women without their consent, upload videos on the platform and make money, NCW Chief Rekha Sharma has taken cognisance of such ‘sexual abuse pranks’.
Concerningly, some of the YouTubers have lakhs of subscribers and are even verified, content creators. Youth Against Rape took to Twitter to say, “In the name of prank today’s generation is spreading filth, no relation is bared neither any sensitivity is portrayed. The girls are being touched publicly for such cringe content. Will, you still keep quiet seeing all this.”
Guess what's the new trend? Sexual abuse in the name of pranks! The easiest way to invade consent and earn money on YouTube, is by starting a prank channel! It's the most viewed content by Indians! @NCWIndia @rsprasad @PrakashJavdekar @sharmarekha @DCP_CCC_Delhi #CensorPranks pic.twitter.com/55rTgRNf5d
— Youth Against Rape ® (@yaifoundations) March 10, 2021
While tagging Union Ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad and Prakash Javadekar along with Rekha Sharma, the group elaborated more on how these YouTube pranksters are turning into a problem for society. It added, “Above we showed you today’s reality. You still want to be silent seeing all this? Don’t forget your silence will just give rise to more such pranksters.”
Responding to the tweet, Rekha Sharma tweeted,”Will take it up with @YouTube.”
— Rekha Sharma (@sharmarekha) March 10, 2021
Recently, the Modi government unveiled a set of guidelines for OTT and social media platforms to adhere to, after calls to regulate the digital space were received. With the announcement of the OTT and social media guidelines, the Modi government has set in place a three-tier self-regulatory mechanism for online content publishers, and also specifically designed new classification ratings for OTT platforms for categorisation of content. Such guidelines will be applicable to all digital content creators, including the ones on YouTube.
The new guidelines will also curb the menace of fake news, by resting accountability for such content with the publishers, who will have to set in place multiple checks to ensure that only verified and true news is put out in the digital space. The new guidelines will especially make sure that social media companies, who have been having it too good for too long, behave themselves while operating in India.
Released by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeITY), the draft is called the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021. The rules will come in effect from the date of their publication in the gazette, except for the additional due diligence for significant social media intermediaries, which shall come in effect three months after publication of the rules.
With Modi government’s new guidelines for OTT and social media platforms and NCW taking cognisance of ‘sexual abuse pranks, the so-called ‘content creators’ on YouTube will soon have to abide by the rules or be ready to be held with an iron fist.