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Information and Broadcasting Ministry blocks 18 OTT platforms for ‘obscene and vulgar content’. Full list here

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The Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Thursday announced the nationwide blocking of 18 OTT platforms, ten apps and 57 social media handles of OTT platforms for showcasing obscene and vulgar content after multiple warnings.

According to a statement, the I&B ministry has taken action in coordination with various intermediaries to block the streaming platforms which published obscene, vulgar, and, in some instances, pornographic content. 19 websites, 10 apps (7 on Google Play Store, 3 on Apple App Store), and 57 social media accounts associated with these platforms have been disabled for public access in India.

OTT platforms that have been blocked are Dreams Films, Voovi, Yessma, Uncut Adda, Tri Flicks, X Prime, Neon X VIP, Besharams, Hunters, Rabbit, Xtramood, Nuefliks, MoodX, Mojflix, Hot Shots VIP, Fugi, Chikooflix, Prime Play.

The press note from I&B Ministry reads, “The Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Singh Thakur has repeatedly emphasised the responsibility of the platforms to not propagate obscenity, vulgarity and abuse under the guise of ‘creative expression’. On 12th March, 2024, Shri Thakur announced that 18 OTT platforms publishing obscene and vulgar content have been taken down.”

It also states that the decision was taken under the provisions of the Information Technology Act, 2000 in consultation with other Ministries of the Government of India, and domain experts specializing in media and entertainment, women’s rights, and child rights.

The ministry has found the nature of content being hosted on the platforms to be obscene, vulgar, and portrayed women in a demeaning manner. It further stated that the content depicted nudity and sexual acts in various inappropriate contexts, such as relationships between teachers and students, incestuous 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 content was determined to be prima facie in violation of Section 67 and 67A of the IT Act, Section 292 of the IPC, and Section 4 of the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986.

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While these platforms are not popular in the mainstream, they have a significant viewership. One of the OTT apps amassed more than 1 crore downloads, while two others had over 50 lakh downloads on the Google Play Store. Additionally, these OTT platforms extensively utilized social media to disseminate trailers, specific scenes, and external links aimed at attracting audiences to their websites and apps. The social media accounts of the concerned OTT platforms had a cumulative followership of over 32 lakh users.

source by: The Indian Express

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