Government Takes Action Against ‘Obscene’ Content on 18 OTT Platforms

Mar14,2024



The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) has taken action in coordination with various intermediaries to block 18 OTT platforms publishing “obscene,” “obscene” and, in some cases, “obscene content.” An official statement from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said that 19 websites, 10 apps (7 on Google Play Store and 3 on Apple App Store), and 57 social media accounts linked to these platforms were disabled for public access in India. went. on Thursday.

Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Singh Thakur has repeatedly stressed the responsibility of platforms to not propagate obscenity, obscenity and abuse under the guise of 'constructive expression'. On March 12, Thakur announced that 18 OTT platforms publishing obscene and pornographic content had been removed, the release said.

The statement further said that the recent decision was taken under the provisions of the Information Technology Act, 2000 in consultation with other ministries of the Government of India and domain experts with expertise in media and entertainment, women's rights and child rights.

“A significant portion of the content hosted on these platforms was found to be obscene, vulgar and depicted women in a derogatory 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 innuendo and, in some cases, long stretches of obscene and sexually explicit scenes devoid of any thematic or social relevance,'' the statement said.

The release said that the content has prima facie been found to be 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.

One of the OTT apps got more than 1 crore downloads, while two others got more than 50 lakh downloads on Google Play Store. Additionally, these OTT platforms use social media extensively to broadcast trailers, exclusive scenes, and external links with the aim of attracting viewers to their websites and apps. It said there was a cumulative following of more than 32 lakh users on the social media accounts of the respective OTT platforms.

The statement said the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting continuously conducts sensitization efforts with OTT platforms and their self-regulatory bodies established under the IT Rules, 2021, through frequent meetings, webinars, workshops, etc.

The Government of India is committed to promoting the growth and development of the OTT industry. Several measures have been taken in this regard, including the launch of the inaugural OTT Awards for Web Series at the 54th International Film Festival of India, collaboration with OTT platforms in the media and entertainment sector and establishment of a light touch regulatory framework. The release said that the emphasis has been on self-regulation under the IT Rules, 2021.


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