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  India   All India  15 Mar 2024  18 OTTs Banned for Telecasting Pornography

18 OTTs Banned for Telecasting Pornography

THE ASIAN AGE. | SHASHI BHUSHAN
Published : Mar 15, 2024, 2:06 am IST
Updated : Mar 15, 2024, 2:06 am IST

18 OTT platforms, 19 websites, 10 apps and 57 social media accounts associated with them have been disabled for public access in India

Union Minister Anurag Thakur. (PTI)
 Union Minister Anurag Thakur. (PTI)

NEW DELHI: The ministry of information and broadcasting on Thursday said that it has taken action to block 18 OTT platforms, websites, apps and social media accounts associated with them for publishing obscene, vulgar and, in some instances, pornographic content.

The ministry said that 18 OTT platforms, 19 websites, 10 apps (seven on the Google Play Store and three on the Apple App Store) and 57 social media accounts associated with them have been disabled for public access in India.

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 March 12, Mr Thakur announced that 18 OTT platforms publishing obscene and vulgar content had been taken down,” the ministry said.
The decision was taken under the provisions of the Information Technology Act 2000 in consultation with other ministries and departments of the government of India and domain experts specialising in media and entertainment, women's rights and child rights.

The ministry noted that a significant portion of the content hosted on these disabled platforms was found to be obscene, vulgar and portrayed women in a demeaning manner. It depicted nudity and sexual acts in various inappropriate contexts, such as relationships between teachers and students, incestuous family 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 ministry stated that 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.

“One of the (now disabled) 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 utilised 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,” the ministry said.

The I&B ministry mentioned that it consistently conducts sensitisation efforts with OTT platforms and their self-regulatory bodies established under the IT Rules 2021 through meetings, webinars, workshops, etc.

“The government of India remains committed to fostering the growth and development of the OTT industry. Several measures have been undertaken in this regard, including 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 establishment of a light touch regulatory framework with an emphasis on self-regulation under the IT Rules 2021,” the ministry added.

Tags: ministry of information and broadcasting, ott platforms, anurag singh thakur
Location: India, Delhi