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Government Blocks 18 OTT Platforms For Pornographic, Vulgar Content

Government Blocks 18 OTT Platforms For Pornographic, Vulgar Content
Source: PTI Images

The Indian government blocked 18 OTT platforms for showing obscene and pornographic content on Thursday, despite multiple warnings. A total of 19 websites, 10 applications and 57 social media accounts were turned off by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting

The companies were engaged in producing sexually explicit content; some of them were, namely, Besharam, Hunters, Dream Films, MoodX, NeonX, ExtraMood and others.

The platforms have been blocked under Section 4 of the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986, Section 292 (sale of obscene books, etc.) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and Sections 67 and 67A of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

A significant portion of the content hosted on these platforms was found to be obscene, vulgar, and portrayed women in a demeaning manner. It depicted nudity and sexual acts in various inappropriate contexts, such as relationships between teachers and students, incestuous family relationships, etc. The content included sexual innuendos and, in some instances, prolonged segments of pornographic and sexually explicit scenes devoid of any thematic or societal relevance.

The statement from MIB said.

MIB stated that one of the apps had 10 million downloads, while the other two had over 5 million downloads each on the Google Play Store. Out of the 10 blocked apps, seven were on the Google Play Store, and three were on Apple’s App Store.

There were trailer-specific scenes, and external links were shared on the social media accounts of these platforms. The accounts had a following of over 3.2 million users. 12 Facebook accounts, 17 Instagram accounts, 16 X accounts and 12 Youtube accounts were blocked.

Due to obscenity, a self-regulatory board established under Part III of the IT Rules issued an unfavourable order against Ullu, a different streaming service not on the current list, in June 2023.

The chairperson of the grievance redressal board of the Digital Publisher Content Grievances Council, former Supreme Court judge AK Sikri, gave Ullu final instructions in June 2023. He directed Ullu to either remove the four web series that were the subject of complaints or edit them, “if even possible, to remove” the offending and objectionable scenes.

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