Thursday 26 May 2022
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22 YouTube channels, 4 SM handles, 1 website banned for ‘fake news’

These YouTube channels, social media profiles and a website — some of them operating from Pakistan — were also showing logos of bona fide media companies illegally

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The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has ordered a ban on 22 YouTube channels in India, which the said service of Google has complied with, making these channels inaccessible to users in the country. These include four YouTube channels from Pakistan. Apart from this, the government has banned three Twitter accounts, a Facebook account and a news website.

According to the ministry, these news outlets were spreading false information about India, which had the potential to affect the national security, relations with foreign countries and public order.

Highlights

  • The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has used emergency power to block 22 YouTube channels, three Twitter accounts, one Facebook account and one news website under IT Rules 2021.
  • Of the 22 blocked YouTube channels, 18 were operating from India and 4 from Pakistan.
  • The blocked YouTube channels had a total viewership of 260 million.
  • These accounts and channels were being used to spread sensitive and false information on social media and fake news on matters related to India’s security, foreign policy and public order.

Action on Indian YouTube channels for the first time

This is the first time that action has been taken on Indian YouTube channels on the basis of IT Rules 2021.
Let us inform that the government had issued the notification of IT Rules 2021 in February last year.

These YouTube channels were spreading fake news on various issues, says the government. Especially on issues like the Indian Army, Jammu and Kashmir, the news outlets were peddling fake posts.

The government has blocked the alleged anti-India content of various social media accounts.

An investigation into these dubious media houses has led to the discovery that wrong information on the situation in Ukraine is another issue with them and that some Indian YouTube channels are knowingly or unwittingly sharing the material.

The government believes that fake news by these media ventures was mala fide, created with the intention of affecting India’s relations with other countries.

Fake thumbnails, photos

The blocked YouTube channels were also using logos and templates of several TV channels illegally.

These channels have also used pictures of many TV anchors in the thumbnails of their posts to mislead the viewers.

The banned Twitter and Facebook profiles created posts with wrong thumbnails and titles. In some cases, the miscreants are operating from Pakistan.

The ministry has blocked 78 YouTube channels and many social media accounts since December 2021. The government says they were spreading false information on issues of security and public order of the country.

The ministry has stated that the Government of India is committed to ensuring an authentic, reliable and secure online news media environment. It says it will thwart any attempt to undermine India’s sovereignty and integrity, national security, foreign relations and public order.

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