Government orders to block 8 YouTube channels for alleged propaganda

Government Orders to Block 8 YouTube Channels for Alleged Disinformation

The government on Thursday ordered the blocking of eight YouTube channels, including a Pakistan-based YouTube channel, for spreading misinformation related to India’s national security, foreign relations and public order.

Blocked YouTube channels with over 114 million views; and 85.73 lakh subscribers and content was being monetised, an official statement said.

The channels which were blocked under the Information Technology Rules-2021 include seven Indian news channels. An official statement said that the blocked YouTube channels made false claims like demolition of religious structures by the Indian government, banning the celebration of religious festivals, declaration of religious war in India.

“Such material was found to have the potential to create communal disharmony and disturb public order in the country,” it said.

It said that YouTube channels were also used to post fake news on various topics like the Indian Armed Forces and Jammu and Kashmir.

“The material has been found to be completely inaccurate and sensitive from the point of view of national security and India’s friendly relations with foreign states,” the statement said.

It is learned that fake anti-India content was being monetized by blocked channels on YouTube.

Earlier on April 25, the government blocked 16 YouTube news channels, including 10 Indian and 6 Pakistan-based channels, for spreading propaganda related to India’s national security, foreign relations and public order.

According to information shared by Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajiv Chandrashekhar in a written reply in Rajya Sabha earlier this month, the government has issued 105 instructions to social media platforms under the new IT rules that came into force in February last year. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has issued instructions under the new rules.

Data shared by the minister shows that between December 2021 and April 2022, 94 instructions were issued to YouTube to block content, five to Twitter and three each to Facebook and Instagram.


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