Indian government orders ban on 67 porn sites in a country with the 6th highest viewership

The country where porn viewership went up by 95 per cent during the pandemic, had also tried to ban porn sites in 2015, but had to step back after a backlash.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Thursday, September 29, 2022, 08:04 PM IST
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The porn ban was ordered after court rulings that followed upgraded IT norms. | Pixabay

The starkest among India’s many contrasts is the fact that despite moral policing portraying Indians as sex-shy, it remains one of the top 10 porn viewing countries globally. This porn consumption had further gone up by 95 per cent during the pandemic, and while what people eat can be prohibited, a porn ban in 2015 was rolled back within days. But under upgraded IT rules and a court ruling, the Indian government has ordered internet service providers to block 67 porn sites.

Obscene material including partial nudity on the radar

Obscene material which harms the image and modesty of women has been cited as a reason behind banning porn sites, in an order of the Uttarakhand High Court from September 24. MeitY has ordered IT firms to block access to any content which shows partial or full nudity, apart from people participating in sexual acts. This order comes a day after 23 Twitter handles were blocked for distributing child pornography, after the Delhi Commission for Women sent a notice to the site regarding the issue.

Demand for porn the biggest loophole?

Back in 2015, when the government had tried to ban more than 800 porn sites, it was expected to cause a 70 per cent revenue loss for service providers. Even after being blocked, popular porn aggregation site Pornhub had found its way around the ban by changing its website address, and Redtube came back with a new domain name. Even before the pandemic caused a surge in porn viewership, India had the third largest population consuming porn, and 30 per cent of them were women.

Not so sex-shy afterall

Speaking of censorship, producer Ekta Kapoor is facing an arrest warrant over a web series XXX which allegedly shows objectionable content about a soldier’s wife. The complaint was lodged by an ex-serviceman himself.

Among nations that surpassed India, its more conservative neighbour Pakistan topped the list of porn viewing countries, while another major porn consumer was Iran, where a woman was recently killed by moral police for not wearing a hijab.

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