I&B Ministry blocks 18 OTT platforms for obscene and vulgar content

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has blocked 18-odd OTT platforms, on charges of obscene, vulgar and “in some instances” pornographic content. The platform names include Dreams Films, Voovi, X Prime, Hunters, among others.

The Ministry said in a statement that 19 websites, 10 apps (seven on Google Play Store, three on Apple App Store), and 57 social media accounts associated with these platforms have been disabled for public access.

Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting, Anurag Singh Thakur, said that 18 OTT platforms publishing obscene and vulgar content have been taken down.

“The content was determined to be prima facie in violation of Sections 67 and 67A of the IT Act, Section 292 of the IPC, and Section 4 of the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986,” the Ministry statement said, adding that “the content included sexual innuendos and, in some instances, prolonged segments of pornographic and sexually explicit scenes devoid of any thematic or societal relevance.”

Other OTT platforms blocked include Yessma, Uncut Adda, Tri Flicks, Neon X VIP, Besharams, Rabbit, Xtramood, Nuefliks, MoodX, Mojflix, Hot Shots VIP, Fugi, Chikooflix, and Prime Play.

A decision to take down these OTT platforms was taken under the provisions of the Information Technology Act 2000, in consultation with ministers of various departments and domain experts specialising in media and entertainment and women’s and children rights.

Among these 18 banned OTT platforms, one of the OTT apps had more than 1 crore downloads, while two others had 50 lakh downloads on the Google Play Store. The social media accounts of the concerned OTT platforms had an overall membership of over 32 lakh, the statement said.

The Ministry said it “consistently conducts sensitisation efforts with OTT platforms” and their self-regulatory bodies established under the IT Rules, 2021, through meetings, webinars, workshops, etc.

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