Policy to be formed for protecting OTT platforms, country’s culture: Hasan

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Dhaka, Mar 15: Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud on Monday said the government has taken steps to form a policy to protect the OTT (Over the Top) platforms and the culture of the country as well.

“The main reason to form the policy is to prevent those items which are conflicting with our culture, heritage and values and no contents could be uploaded which will derail our society and the new generation. Another reason is to protect the country’s platform from aggression of foreign OTT platforms,” he said.

The minister added: “The government wants the flourishing of the platform and the entertainment and the creativity through the media.”

Hasan stated these while exchanging views with the stakeholders of the OTT platforms at the meeting room of his ministry at Secretariat here.

The stakeholders extended their thanks to the government for the initiative.

The minister said the OTT platform is not a political issue. But, BNP leader Mirza Fakhrul Islam mixed OTT platforms with social media or mass media. It is really regrettable that the secretary general who discharged the responsibility as minister gave such statements and mixed the OTT with other media, he added.

He said Mirza Fakhrul is trying to make it a political issue which is not acceptable.

Extending thanks to the stakeholders for their support, the minister said, “Earlier, we saw that some contents were uploaded in the platforms which are against our values. Even some contents liked pornography. That time a demand was raised to form a policy.”

He said some OTT platforms have already started their activities in the country and those are doing well. It is a big platform and it is not possible to take steps of censorship by screening every item, he added.

“For this, we are making a policy through discussing with the stakeholders. The draft has been given at website for opinion. Later, it will be finalized,” said Hasan, also Awami League joint general secretary.

Nattyokar Sangha president SM Harun-or-Rashid said policy is needed to strengthen the responsibility.

Directors’ Guild president Salahuddin Luvlu said, “We want to express our culture, heritage and values through the platforms. For this, a policy is a must for the platform.”

Television and Digital Producers Association vice president Sajjad Hossain Dulal, Directors’ Guild general secretary SM Kamruzzaman and member SA Haque Alik, among others, took part in the discussion.

Later, the minister unwrapped the covers of two books ‘Bangladesher Rajniti and Bangabandhu Paribar’ written by M Nazrul Islam and published by Subarna and ‘Joy Bangla’ written by Dr Bashir Ahmed and published by Jhumjhumi Prokashon.

Additional secretary of the ministry Khadiza Begum, Subarna Publishers owner Sharin Haque, deputy attorney general Advocate Gias Uddin, SM nazmul Haque and writer Mostafa Kamal Pasha, among others, were present.