18 OTT Platforms, 19 Websites, 10 apps an 57 Social Media pages Banned by the I&B Ministry over vulgar and pornographic content: Check out the lists

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18 OTT Platforms, 19 Websites, 10 apps an 57 Social Media pages Banned by the I&B Ministry over vulgar and pornographic content: Check out the lists

18 OTT Platforms, 19 Websites, 10 apps an 57 Social Media pages Banned by the I&B Ministry over vulgar and pornographic content

The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (I&B) has banned 18 OTT platforms who were publishing vulgar, obscene and pornographic content with the cooperation of some intermediaries. The Ministry also disabled the public access in India of 19 websites, 10 apps (Google Play Store:7 and Apple apps:3) and 57 social media accounts which were connected with these OTT platforms. The Government took the action after issuing many warnings to these social media accounts. 

Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting Anurag Singh Thakur announced the action on these OTT platforms on March 12, 2024. He again and again underlined the liability of the platforms to not spread nudity and sexual content in the name of creativity. 

The decision of blocking the OTT platforms was taken by the Government under the provisions of the Information Technology Act, 2000 with the prior advice and discussion with the experts of women’s & children’s rights and social media & entertainment specialists along with the other ministries and departments of the Indian Government.

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The nature of the banned platform content 

The nature of the content posted on these platforms was largely vulgar and obscene, women were portrayed in the undignified manner. The content depicted shameful sexual actions, nudity and the contexts were ill-suited like incestuous family relationships, relationship between students and teachers etc. Content was full of sexual allusions and some scenes were highly pornographic and sexually explicit which were totally irrelevant to any theme, context or societal aspect. 

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List of banned OTT platforms

  • 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

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All the content is prima facie in violation of the 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. There were more than 1 crore downloads amassed by the one OTT app and another app had approximately 50 lakh downloads on the Google Play Store. Furthermore these OTT platforms used society media largely to launch trailers, specific scenes and external links to attract viewers to their apps and website. These social media accounts jointly had over 3.2 million followers. 

There is a provision under the IT Rules, 2021 which provides the government to conduct sensitization efforts through meetings, webinars and workshops. The Ministry of I&B in a release said that it is committed towards curbing the growth and development of the OTT industry. The government has taken several measures in this matter together with the the introduction of the Inaugural OTT Award for Web Series at the 54th International Film Festival of India, collaboration with OTT platforms in the media and entertainment sector, and the initiation of a light touch regulatory framework with underlining the self-regulation under the IT rules, 2021. 

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FAQs:-

1. What led to the banning of these OTT platforms and websites?
The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting banned these platforms due to the publication of vulgar, obscene, and pornographic content, which violated regulations under the Information Technology Act, 2000 and other relevant laws.

2. How many OTT platforms were banned by the I&B Ministry?
A total of 18 OTT platforms were banned for disseminating inappropriate content.

3. What actions were taken against the banned platforms?
The Ministry disabled public access in India for 19 websites, 10 apps (7 on Google Play Store and 3 on Apple apps), and 57 social media accounts associated with these platforms.

4. Who announced the action against the banned OTT platforms?
Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting, Anurag Singh Thakur, announced the measures on March 12, 2024.

5. What were the criteria for banning the platforms?
The banned platforms were found to be publishing content portraying women in undignified ways, depicting shameful sexual actions, nudity, and inappropriate contexts.

6. Under which laws were the actions taken?
The content was found 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.

7. How many downloads did some of these banned apps accumulate?
One OTT app amassed over 1 crore downloads, while another had approximately 50 lakh downloads on the Google Play Store.

8. What were the efforts taken by the government to sensitize the public regarding OTT content?
The government conducted sensitization efforts through meetings, webinars, and workshops as per the provisions under the IT Rules, 2021.

9. What measures has the Ministry of I&B taken to regulate the OTT industry?
The Ministry has introduced measures such as the Inaugural OTT Award for Web Series at the 54th International Film Festival of India and collaboration with OTT platforms in the media and entertainment sector.

10. What regulatory framework has been initiated for OTT platforms?
A light touch regulatory framework emphasizing self-regulation under the IT Rules, 2021, has been introduced to oversee OTT content.

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