Ministry of I&B Takes Decisive Action Against Obscene Content on OTT Platforms

overnment crackdown blocks 18 platforms and associated media handles for violating decency standards and legal regulations.

New Delhi, March 14, 2024: In a significant move to uphold moral standards and protect viewers from inappropriate content, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (I&B) has taken decisive action against 18 Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms for disseminating obscene, vulgar, and in some cases, pornographic content. This bold step comes after multiple warnings from Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting, Anurag Singh Thakur, who has been vocal about the responsibility of these platforms to uphold decency standards.

The crackdown, which involved coordinated efforts with various intermediaries, has resulted in the blocking of 19 websites, 10 apps (7 on Google Play Store, 3 on Apple App Store), and 57 associated social media accounts across the nation. This action reflects the government’s commitment to ensuring that digital platforms adhere to the laws of the land and do not engage in activities that undermine societal values.

Speaking on the matter, Anurag Singh Thakur reiterated the importance of responsible content creation, stating, “We cannot allow obscenity and vulgarity to proliferate under the guise of creative expression. These platforms have a duty to uphold moral standards and protect the dignity of individuals.”

The decision to block these OTT platforms was made under the provisions of the Information Technology Act, 2000, following consultations with other ministries and domain experts specializing in media and entertainment, women’s rights, and child rights.

List of OTT Platforms Affected:

  1. Dreams Films
  2. Voovi
  3. Yessma
  4. Uncut Adda
  5. Tri Flicks
  6. X Prime
  7. Neon X VIP
  8. Besharams
  9. Hunters
  10. Rabbit
  11. Xtramood
  12. Nuefliks
  13. MoodX
  14. Mojflix
  15. Hot Shots VIP
  16. Fugi
  17. Chikooflix
  18. Prime Play

The content hosted on these platforms was found to be derogatory towards women, featuring nudity, sexual acts, and explicit scenes devoid of any societal relevance. This content was found to be 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.

Some of these OTT platforms had amassed significant viewership, with one app garnering over 1 crore downloads and two others boasting over 50 lakh downloads on the Google Play Store alone. Additionally, these platforms extensively used social media to attract audiences, with their accounts collectively amassing over 32 lakh followers.

The Ministry of I&B has been actively engaged in sensitization efforts with OTT platforms and their self-regulatory bodies established under the IT Rules, 2021, to foster a responsible digital ecosystem. While the government remains committed to the growth of the OTT industry, it will continue to enforce regulations to ensure that content adheres to moral and legal standards.

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