The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has directed the blocking of 22 YouTube-based news channels, of which four are from Pakistan, alleging that they were spreading fake news that could impact national security, foreign relations and public order.
This is the first time that action has been taken against the Indian YouTube-based news publishers since the notification of the IT Rules, 2021, in February last year, it said.
In an official statement, the ministry said it issued an order on Monday to block 22 YouTube channels, three Twitter accounts, one Facebook account and one news website.
With this action, the ministry has, since December 2021, issued directions for blocking 78 YouTube-based news channels and several other social media accounts on grounds related to national security, sovereignty and integrity of India, public order, etc.
“Through the recent blocking order, 18 Indian and four Pakistan-based YouTube news channels have been blocked,” the ministry said, without naming them.
The blocked YouTube channels had a cumulative viewership of over 260 crores, the ministry said in an official statement, adding that they were spreading fake news and coordinated disinformation over social media on subjects sensitive from the perspective of national security, India’s foreign relations, and public order.
According to the ministry, multiple YouTube channels were used to post “fake news on various subjects such as the Indian Armed Forces, Jammu and Kashmir, etc.”
Source The Tribune