Centre’s Digital Strike Against Obscene Content: 18 OTT Platforms, 19 Websites, 10 Apps, and 57 Social Media Handles Blocked

The central government has imposed a ban on the broadcast of obscene content on 18 OTT platforms. Along with this, 19 websites, 10 apps, and 57 social media handles have also been blocked. These apps, OTT platforms, and social media platforms were found to be streaming or sharing objectionable and vulgar videos under the guise of entertainment. Previously, these OTT apps had been warned multiple times, but no improvements were seen in their content. The decision to ban them was made at a meeting of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting held on March 12th. Today, the list of these apps has been made public.

Unique Reason for the Ban

The ban was imposed by the government due to the obscene nature of their content. In many instances, it portrayed women in a derogatory manner. It also led to misrepresentation of familial relationships beyond student-teacher relationships.

Unique Findings

The government stated that one of the OTT apps among the 18 has garnered downloads exceeding 100 million, but its name was not disclosed. Two other apps on the Google Play Store have received over 5 million downloads each. Additionally, these OTT platforms extensively utilized social media to attract viewers to their websites and applications. They have amassed a total of over 32 million users across their social media accounts.

Unique Measures Taken After Numerous Complaints

Previously, the ministry stated that they had received numerous complaints regarding objectionable content on OTT platforms. Many MPs, intellectuals, and social activists are among those filing complaints. After considering these complaints, this year a new rule, the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, was introduced. According to statements from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Sections 67, 67A, and 67B of this law empower the government to impose restrictions on objectionable content.

Unique Promotion of App’s Explicit Content on Social Media

Several scenes and stories from the series displayed on the app are being converted into videos and promoted on social media, along with their promotional links to download the app. The link to download the app remains alongside the video. A significant portion of users accessing these apps comes through social media.

Overview of Monitoring Regulations

The government monitors content on OTT platforms according to the guidelines outlined in the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021. As per these rules, OTT platforms must adhere to classification, age ratings, and self-regulation of their content. Failure to comply may result in the government invoking Sections 67, 67A, and 67B to block objectionable content.

View the complete directive from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (IB).

Rasesh Nageshwar

Hi there! I'm Rasesh Nageshwar, and I'm passionate to write about entertainment, movies, web series, and sports. As a writer, I love sharing my insights and opinions on the latest trends, news, and events in these exciting fields.