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18 OTT Platforms Hit by Government Ban Over Obscene Content: Find Out Which Ones Are Banned!

India’s I&B Ministry bans 18 OTT platforms over obscene content. See the full list and reasons behind this major digital crackdown.



18 OTT Platforms Hit by Government Ban Over Obscene Content: Find Out Which Ones Are Banned!

In a decisive crackdown on digital indecency, the Indian Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (I&B) has announced the blocking of 18 over-the-top (OTT) platforms deemed to be broadcasting content characterized as obscene, vulgar, and in certain cases, pornographic. This move also encompasses the disabling of 19 websites, 10 applications—7 of which are hosted on Google’s Play Store and 3 on Apple’s App Store—and 57 social media accounts linked to these platforms, effectively restricting their access within the country.

Union Minister Anurag Singh Thakur, leading the I&B Ministry, has consistently highlighted the obligation of digital platforms to steer clear of disseminating content that undermines societal morals under the pretext of ‘creative freedom’. On March 12, 2024, Thakur confirmed the government’s intervention against the 18 OTT platforms identified for circulating objectionable material.

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The initiative, grounded in the legislative framework of the Information Technology Act, 2000, was executed following extensive consultations with various stakeholders, including other Ministries and Departments, media and entertainment experts, as well as specialists in women’s and children’s rights.

The platforms targeted by this regulatory action include 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, and Prime Play. The primary concern cited was the pervasive nature of content on these platforms, which often depicted women in derogatory ways, indulged in nudity, and showcased sexual acts within inappropriate contexts such as incestuous relationships and interactions between teachers and students. This content was flagged for not only lacking in thematic or societal relevance but also for potentially violating various sections of the IT Act, the Indian Penal Code, and the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986.

Remarkably, one of the banned OTT applications had garnered more than 10 million downloads, with two others exceeding 5 million downloads on the Google Play Store alone. These platforms had actively leveraged social media to promote their content, amassing a followership exceeding 3.2 million users, thereby extending their reach and influence.

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Despite these stringent measures, the I&B Ministry has affirmed its dedication to the flourishing of the OTT sector in India. The government’s commitment is evidenced by its continuous engagement with OTT platforms and their self-regulatory bodies through educational initiatives like meetings, webinars, and workshops. Furthermore, efforts to recognize and celebrate the creative contributions of the OTT industry include the introduction of the inaugural OTT Award for Web Series at the 54th International Film Festival of India and the establishment of a regulatory framework emphasizing self-regulation under the IT Rules, 2021. These actions underscore the government’s balanced approach to fostering digital entertainment while ensuring the protection of cultural and moral values.

Here’s a table of the OTT platforms targeted by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting:

Targeted OTT Platforms
Dreams Films
Uncut Adda
Tri Flicks
X Prime
Neon X VIP
Hot Shots VIP
Prime Play

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