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IB Ministry blocks 18 OTT platforms for publishing obscene content


The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has blocked as many as 18 OTT platforms, including Dreams Films, Voovi, X Prime, Hunters, and others for publishing obscene, vulgar, and pornographic content.

The ministry has also ordered blocking of 19 websites, 10 applications (7 on Google Play, 3 on Apple Store) along with 57 social media accounts associated with these platforms.

“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,” the ministry said in its press release.

The decision was taken under the provisions of the Information Technology Act 2000 in consultation with ministers of various departments and the domain experts specializing in media and entertainment, women’s and children’s rights, the release added.

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 Google Play Store. The social media accounts of the concerned OTT platforms had an overall fellowship of over 32 lakhs, the statement further said.

The high number of downloads and viewership aren’t surprising considering the deep reach of affordable and faster internet connectivity in the country. Moreover, several OTT platforms have managed to bypass the local broadcasting norms to publish objectionable content. Besides obscenity, OTT platforms have also faced backlash from several groups over hurting religious sentiments. The spate of recent controversies probably prompted the government to introduce a new broadcasting bill, which proposes censoring of content on such streaming platforms.

Interestingly, the latest order doesn’t include Ullu and ALT Balaji, which have been thriving on sleazy contents.

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