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FIR filed against ALT Balaji, soft porn sites after Palghar resident files complaint: Report

An FIR has been filed against a number of pornography websites and the streaming service ALT Balaji, the Free Press Journal reports. FPJ reported that apart from ALT Balaji, other streaming services that are facing action from the police are Hotshots, Flizmovies, Feneo, Neoflix, Ullu, Hotmasti, Chikooflix, Primeflix, Wetflix, and Kukoo. Maharashtra Cyber, a police-like agency with investigative authority, reportedly filed the FIR after a complaint from a Palghar resident. The FIR was reportedly filed under sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the IT Act, and the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act.

While many of the above sites seem to be registered abroad, they feature prominently Indian content, and have thus far mostly evaded regulatory scrutiny. ALT Balaji, which often markets sexually suggestive content in its content lineup, is by far the largest streaming service named by the complaint. We have reached out to the company for comment; the heads of all the streaming services named above have reportedly been summoned for questioning.

ALT Balaji is a signatory to the Internet and Mobile Association of India’s Universal Code for Curated Content Providers, a self-regulatory code signed by the largest streaming services in the country (except for some like YouTube Premium, Apple TV+, and SunNxt). As a part of that agreement, it practically agreed to make content that it is allowed to constitutionally. As such, it will be worth looking at how they respond to accusations that their content is pornographic in nature.

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I cover the digital content ecosystem and telecom for MediaNama.

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