The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has blocked 16 YouTube news channels for spreading propaganda related to India’s national security, foreign relations, and public order. It has 10 Indians and 6 Pakistan-based.
The Government of India said that YouTube channels were spreading false, unverified information to create panic, incite communal disharmony and disturb public order in India. The blocked YouTube-based news channels had over 68 crore viewers.
Earlier, in the exercise of emergency powers under the IT Rules, 2021, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had on April 4, 2022,
22 YouTube-based news channels,
Three (3) Twitter accounts,
One (1) Facebook account, and
One (1) news website.
Block orders were issued. The blocked YouTube channels had a total viewership of over 260 million and were being misused to spread fake news, and well-planned propaganda on social media on topics sensitive to national security, India’s foreign relations, and public order.
Last year also the action was taken in February last year
This was the first action taken against Indian YouTube-based news publishers since the notification of the IT Rules, in 2021 in India. Fake news was being posted on various topics like Indian Armed Forces, J&K, etc. • The content ordered to be blocked included some anti-India content, which was posted in a systematic manner from several social media accounts operated from Pakistan using several YouTube channels.