KATHMANDU, Sept 23: The government has issued a circular to all telecommunication and internet service providers to ban the propagation and dissemination of pornographic and sexual contents through any medium.
Issuing a statement on Friday evening, the Ministry of Information and Communications said that it decided to ban pornographic contents in line with Article 121 of the Criminal Code Act 2017 which has forbidden the exchange, publication and broadcasting of pornographic, sexual and vulgar contents.
The ministry informed that it decided to announce the ban after noticing that easy access to such vulgar contents through social networking sites had started disturbing social harmony in the country.
The ministry maintained that promotion of pornographic contents has been abetting sexual violence and encouraging aberration in the society.
The ministry has also requested all telecommunication service providers, internet service providers, operators of social networking sites and users to strictly prohibit sharing, publication and broadcasting of sexual and vulgar contents through the means of internet and electronic devices.
Porn ban draws mixed reaction
The ban on pornographic sites has drawn mixed reaction from the general public. While some believe that the ban is a good step taken by the government to address the increasing cases of rape, others think that the ban will have no effect on the increasing trend of rape cases. The internet frenzy population has taken to the social media to express their opinions on the government's decision to ban internet sites that contain pornographic and sexual contents.
Former Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai lauded the government for taking a strong step to minimize sexual violence in Nepal. On Saturday evening, Bhattarai tweeted, “The ban on porn sites is a good and necessary step to put an end to the deep-rooted social anomalies and sexual assaults in the Nepali society.”
However, a Twitter handler Thakur KC has claimed that it is very illogical of the government to prohibit dissemination of porn since it is very important for the youths to get to know more about the physical changes they go through during puberty. He tweeted, “It is natural for youths to get more concerned about physical changes going on in their bodies and the bodies of the member of the opposite sex.”
Medical student Sulav Karki claimed that even though the ban on pornographic and sexual content is commendable, the government needs to put extra efforts to reduce rape cases.
“It is a total fantasy that the ban will help in reducing rape cases, especially in the rural areas. Much more needs to be done especially in the part of investigation and enforcing punishments,” he tweeted.
Similarly, Information Technology executive Tikaram Belbase claimed that the government needs to focus more on disseminating sex education rather than banning pornographic sites.