I&B ministry blocks 16 YouTube news channels for spreading disinformation
Ten Indian and six Pakistani YouTube channels were disabled utilising emergency powers under the IT Rules, 2021.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has blocked 16 YouTube news channels for promoting misinformation on India's national security, foreign relations, and public order. Ten Indian and six Pakistani YouTube channels were disabled utilising emergency powers under the IT Rules, 2021. The YouTube channels in India were distributing fake, unconfirmed material in order to cause fear, instigate communal strife, and disrupt public order.
The blocked social media accounts have a cumulative viewership of over 68 crore. "It was observed that these channels were used to spread fake news over social media on matters related to national security, India’s foreign relations, communal harmony in the country, and public order. None of the digital news publishers had furnished information to the Ministry as required under rule 18 of the IT Rules, 2021," the I&B Ministry said in an official statement.
Some of the YouTube channels headquartered in India published content that referred to a group as terrorists and incited animosity among members of other religious communities. Such content was discovered to have the potential to cause communal discord and disrupt public order.
YouTube channels located in Pakistan were discovered to have been utilised in a systematic fashion to disseminate fake news about India on a variety of issues, including the Indian Army, Jammu and Kashmir, and India's international relations in light of the situation in Ukraine, among others. The content of these channels was found to be wholly incorrect and sensitive in terms of India's national security, sovereignty, and integrity, as well as India's good ties with foreign countries.
The statement further said the Indian government remains dedicated to ensuring a safe and secure information environment in India through print, television, and internet media.