The Telangana Crime Investigation Department's (CID) Cyber Crime Wing registered cases against a few online websites on Wednesday, and charged them with violating the Information Technology Act.
The investigation agency was acting on a complaint by the Movie Artists Association (MAA), who said that several websites were publishing obscene and defamatory photographs of film personalities.
MAA president Mr Shivaji Raja, general secretary Naresh and other office-bearers filed the complaint.
The Deccan Chronicle reported that the officials had identified over 20 such websites that were posting such content, and filed a case under Sections 67 and 67A of the Information Technology Act..
“We suspect that there are more such websites. We are in the process of identifying the persons behind those websites,” the DC report quoted a senior official as saying.
While authorities and the complainants refused to reveal the exact content of the websites, they claimed that it was obscene and vulgar. They also stated that morphed images of actresses were being uploaded online and widely circulated, in a bid to defame them.
“After receiving the complaint, we went through the content which we cannot even describe openly. Nevertheless, we will take action against persons responsible for it,” CID Cybercrimes Superintendent of Police U Rammohan told the media.
This comes a day after veteran artist and TDP MP Murali Mohan lashed out against YouTube channels and websites that were defaming film celebrities, while speaking at the Silver Jubilee celebrations of MAA.
Stating that such channels used extremely misleading titles and thumbnails, he accused them of doing it just for popularity. He also asked the state government to investigate the issue and book such channels.
“Under no circumstances can the movie industry tolerate such unethical practices,” he was quoted as saying.
Mohan's speech seems to have resonated well even among other veteran artists, who have all been a victim of the 'click bait' videos.
They all agreed that such channels had to be regulated, following which they approached the CID.