How blocked websites are trolling India’s porn ban

Banned websites take to social media to ridicule the government's order banning porn

The government ordered internet service providers (ISPs) to block 857 adult websites, saying the content “hosted on these websites relates to morality and decency as given in Article 19(2) of the Constitution of India".

Besides pornographic sites, the government’s crackdown, surprisingly, also includes popular viral content websites like CollegeHumor, 9Gag and ShitBrix to name a few.

Not to be undone, some of these websites have taken to cheekily crafted content, mostly on their social media pages, to ridicule the government’s order.

xVideos:

xVideos, a free pornographic video and image sharing website, is one of the most popular websites in its category. Launched in 1997, the website is currently ranked #45 in Alexa and is also the 19th most popular site in India. Interestingly, nearly 13.1% visitors to xVideos are located in India, second only to Japan, which tops the list with 13.8% visitors.

xVideos took a dig at the government. Quoting an Independent (UK) article on the porn ban in India, @xvideoscom wrote on Twitter, “Porn ban in India / XVideos blocked http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/porn-block-in-india-hundreds-of-sexual-websites-banned-internet-outraged-10434499.html … Vote better next time!"

CollegeHumor:

Quite the surprise inclusion in the list, CollegeHumor is considered among the funniest sites on the web, largely targeted towards high-schoolers or college-going students. It features largely original social content, created and curated by its in-house writing and production team in addition to videos, pictures, articles and links submitted by users.

On Tuesday morning, CollegeHumor played the ultimate troll, when it tweeted out a link with the headline: “12 facts I made up about India because they can’t see this article right now." The accompanying text said, “CollegeHumor has been banned in India for no reason so here are some made up facts about India for no reason. #StayStrongIndia." Like xVideos, Indians account for close to 9.9% visitors to CollegeHumor, second only to the US (46.5%).

xHamster:

Currently ranked the 71st most popular website in the world according to Alexa, xHamster also classifies itself as a free pornographic video/picture sharing website. Like xVideos or other websites in the category, xHamster is a leading aggregator of pornographic content - those produced commercially and user-generated or simply, “community" content, which includes videos and pictures. Besides, it also provides a social networking platform for its vistors.

xHamster, while reacting to the porn ban in India, resorted to a popular tactic to send its message across—a hashtag campaign. On Monday, it wrote on its Twitter page (@xhamstercom), “xhamster banned in India.Indians don’t give up!" with the hashtag #freexhamster. On Tuesday, it quoted popular author Chetan Bhagat’s tweet, which said, “Don’t ban porn. Ban men ogling, leering, brushing past, groping, molesting, abusing, humiliating and raping women. Ban non-consent. Not sex." and wrote, “#xHamster totally agrees with @chetan_bhagat ban non-consent.Not sex! #freexhamster #pornbaninindia #faponxhamster".

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