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Indian govt bans 18 OTT platforms for obscene, vulgar content after multiple warnings

Sumit Vishwakarma
New Update
Indian govt bans 18 OTT platforms

The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (I&B) has banned 18 Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms, including Uncut Adda, Dreams Films, and Prime Play, for showcasing content deemed 'obscene, vulgar, and, in some cases, pornographic.'

The action extends to blocking 19 websites, 10 apps, and 57 social media accounts linked to these platforms in India, citing violations of various sections of the Information Technology Act, the Indian Penal Code, and the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act.

List of the affected platforms


The banned platforms are: 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, Prime Play.

Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting, Anurag Singh Thakur, emphasized the responsibility of platforms to avoid propagating obscenity and vulgarity under the guise of 'creative expression.'

The decision to ban these platforms was made in consultation with various government departments and domain experts in media, entertainment, women's rights, and child rights. The move is part of the government's broader efforts to sensitize OTT platforms and their self-regulatory bodies about the content they host.

The nature of the offensive content

The banned content is criticized for its obscene and vulgar portrayal, especially of women, in demeaning manners. It includes nudity, sexual acts in inappropriate contexts such as teacher-student relationships, incestuous family dynamics, and other scenarios lacking thematic or societal relevance.

The ministry highlighted that some of these apps had significant user engagement, with one app reaching over 1 crore downloads and others having substantial social media followings.

The ban also affects the social media landscape, with the government blocking access to numerous accounts across platforms like Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), and YouTube. These accounts were instrumental in promoting the banned OTT content, attracting audiences to their websites and apps through trailers and specific scenes, the ministry said.

Focused on the development of the OTT industry 

Despite the crackdown, the Ministry of I&B asserts its commitment to the development of the OTT industry. It has introduced measures such as the Inaugural OTT Award for Web Series at the 54th International Film Festival of India and collaborations with OTT platforms in the media and entertainment sector.

 The government aims to establish a light-touch regulatory framework emphasizing self-regulation under the IT Rules, 2021 to foster a healthy digital content environment.