Since last week, one of the largest markets for online pornography no longer has access to over 800 websites. The second largest state in the world in terms of the population wants to restrict access to pornography for its 1.3 billion citizens. The reason for this step is utterly ludicrous.
Jio, India’s most important Internet provider, has already blocked access to numerous pornographic websites after a court ordered the Indian government in September to take action against online pornography. The reason for the court’s intervention was the group rape of women that is still common in India, a phenomenon that the judges attributed to access to pornography.
The extent of the blocking was unclear for a long time, but it was immediately noticeable for the large tube sites Pornhub, xHamster and similar providers, which naturally record considerable traffic from India and therefore notice a slump quite clearly.
According to The Financial Express, the court listed 857 websites to be blocked. However, the Indian government removed several sites from the blocking request because they did not contain any pornographic content. A total of 827 websites are now said to be affected. The ban applies to all providers in India, but according to reports only Jio has complied with the ban so far.
The reason for the unclear news situation is also that Jio itself has made no statement on the case. Although it is assumed that the other providers in the country will follow the industry leader, there are no comments from these companies about plans to implement the court order.
On Reddit, many users report on their experiences. One writes: »I have tried to access several porn sites and waited for them to load, but I can’t access any of them through Jio’s network. Is it just me, or do others also have the problem as well?«
With this approach, India is following its neighbor Nepal, albeit to a limited extent. Since mid-October, the inhabitants there can no longer access 25,000 websites because the Nepalese government has banned online pornography. In Nepal, too, rape is used as a pretext for taking action against pornography.
XBIZ points out that the line of argument popular among conservative and reactionary politicians cannot be substantiated by any scientific studies. Numerous studies have already shown that there is no connection between the number of rapes and the consumption of pornography. On the contrary, some studies even suggest that access to pornography leads to a reduction in sexual crimes. The journal Psychology Today has published an article in which the author states that during the emergence and expansion of the Internet, parallel to facilitating access to pornography, the number of sexual crimes in the US fell by 44% between 1995 and 2009.
It can therefore be assumed that in India, as in Nepal, the positive effects of pornography are completely ignored in order to divert attention from the actual problems that have always accompanied the suppression of the pursuit of free sexuality.