Tuesday, January 31, 2023
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Government blocked 22 YouTube news channels, accused of spreading fake news

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has directed to block 22 YouTube news channels. Four of them are from Pakistan. These YouTube channels are accused of allegedly spreading fake news to mislead viewers. For the first time after the notification of IT Rules 2021 in February last year, action has been taken against Indian YouTube news publishers. In its official statement, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has said that it has issued an order to block 22 YouTube channels, three Twitter accounts, one Facebook account and one news website. From December 2021 till now, the ministry has issued instructions to block a total of 78 YouTube based news channels and social media accounts on grounds of national security, sovereignty and integrity of India.

The total viewership of the blocked YouTube channels was more than 260 million. In an official statement, the ministry has said that these platforms were spreading fake news on sensitive topics like national security, India’s foreign relations. Without naming these channels, it is said that 18 Indian and four Pakistan-based YouTube news channels have been blocked.

According to the ministry, through these YouTube channels, fake news on topics like Indian Armed Forces, Jammu and Kashmir were posted. It also contains anti-India content, which was posted from several social media accounts operating from Pakistan.

The YouTube channels that have been blocked are accused of publishing false content about the current situation in Ukraine. It has been said that its purpose was to jeopardize India’s foreign relations with other countries. The ministry has said that the blocked Indian YouTube channels were using templates and logos of some TV news channels to make viewers believe that the news is true.

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It is said that these YouTube channels used false thumbnails. Changed the title and thumbnail of the video to make the content viral on social media. In many cases it was seen that fake news about India was coming from Pakistan.

The Ministry says that the Government of India is committed to ensure an authentic, reliable and secure online news media environment and to thwart attempts to undermine the country’s sovereignty and integrity, national security.


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