Technology

Indian Government Blocks 18 Streaming platforms for Pornographic and Obsence Content

Indian Government Blocks 18 Streaming platforms for Pornographic and Obsence Content: For releasing “obscene, vulgar, and, in some cases, pornographic content,” the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has prohibited 18 streaming services, 19 websites, 10 applications, and 57 social media profiles.

Among the ten blocked apps, seven were available on the Google Play Store and three on the Apple App Store.

Sections 67 and 67A of the Information Technology Act of 2000, Section 292 (selling of obscene literature, etc.) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and Section 4 of the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986 have all resulted in the blocking of platforms.

Besharams, Hunters, Dream Films, MoodX, NeonX, XtraMood, and other sites that produce sexually explicit content are among those that have been blacklisted.

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“A significant portion of the content hosted on these 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 statement from MIB said.

According to MIB, one of the apps has received more than ten million downloads, while two others have received more than five million downloads each.

Among the ten blocked apps, seven were available on the Google Play Store and three on the Apple App Store.

The social media profiles of these sites were followed by over 3.2 million people, who shared trailers, particular sequences, and external links.

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The statement lists the total number of prohibited accounts as 12 Facebook accounts, 17 Instagram accounts, 16 X (previously Twitter) accounts, and 12 YouTube accounts.

Part III of the IT Rules states that in June 2023, a self-regulatory body issued an unfavorable ruling against Ullu, a streaming service that is not on the present list, due to obscenity.

In his final order in June 2023, former SC judge AK Sikri, chairperson of the grievance redressal board of the Digital Publisher Content Grievances Council, instructed Ullu to remove the four web series that had been complained against or to edit them (“if even possible”, the order noted) in an effort to remove “the offending and objectionable scenes”.

In his ruling, Sikri stated that there are limitations on the freedom of speech and expression provided by Article 19 of the Constitution, one of which is that “art or culture should not be offensive.”

“Obscenity is considered a criminal offense in accordance with Section 292 of the IPC.” In the sake of morality, decency, and public order, restrictions may also be put in place, according to the directive.

In its order, Sikri noted, “The Council finds that there is no social message in any of these series and the sole purpose is to depict sex and nudity likely to deprave the corrupt those whose minds are open to influence of this sort.”

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Chanchal Bishwas

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