Govt blocks 22 YouTube channels for posting ‘anti-India’ content

Govt blocks 22 YouTube channels for posting ‘anti-India’ content


Govt blocks 22 YouTube channels for posting ‘anti-India’ content


The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said that multiple YouTube channels were used to post fake news on various subjects such as the Indian Armed Forces and Jammu and Kashmir

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in an order issued on Monday blocked 22 YouTube channels for allegedly spreading disinformation related to India’s national security and foreign relations. This includes 18 Indian YouTube news channels that have been blocked for the first time under IT Rules, 2021 and four Pakistan-based YouTube news channels.

The ministry said the YouTube channels used logos of TV news channels and false thumbnails to mislead viewers. In addition to this, three Twitter accounts, one Facebook account, and one news website were also blocked.

“ The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, utilising the emergency powers under the IT Rules, 2021, has issued orders on 04.04.2022 for blocking of twenty-two (22) YouTube based news channels, three (3) Twitter accounts, one (1) Facebook account, and one (1) news website. 

The blocked YouTube channels had a cumulative viewership of over 260 crore, and were used to spread fake news, and coordinated disinformation over social media on subjects sensitive from the perspective of national security, India’s foreign relations, and public order,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said that multiple YouTube channels were used to post fake news on various subjects such as the Indian Armed Forces, Jammu and Kashmir, etc. It said that the content ordered to be blocked also included certain “anti-India” content posted from multiple social media accounts operated in a coordinated manner from Pakistan.

“ It was observed that a significant amount of false content published by the these Indian YouTube based channels related to the ongoing situation in Ukraine, and aimed at jeopardising India’s foreign relations with other countries,” it said.

“ The blocked Indian YouTube channels were using templates and logos of certain TV news channels, including images of their news anchors to mislead the viewers to believe that the news was authentic. 

False thumbnails were used ; and title and thumbnail of the videos were frequently altered to increase the virality of content on social media. In certain cases, it was also observed that systematic anti-India fake news was originating from Pakistan,” it added.

So far, since December 2021, the ministry has issued directions for blocking of 78 YouTube based news channels and several other social media accounts on grounds related to national security.

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