In an order issued on Monday, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting suspended 22 YouTube channels for allegedly disseminating falsehoods about India’s national security and international ties. This includes 18 Indian YouTube news channels that were restricted for the first time under the IT Rules of 2021, as well as four Pakistani YouTube news channels.
According to the government, the YouTube channels misled viewers by using TV news channel logos and bogus thumbnails. Three Twitter accounts, one Facebook account, and one news website were also deactivated.
“Using the emergency powers granted by the IT Rules, 2021, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting issued directives on April 4, 2022, blocking twenty-two (22) YouTube-based news channels, three (3) Twitter accounts, one (1) Facebook account, and one (1) news website. The blocked YouTube channels had a combined viewership of over 260 crore people, and they were used to spread fake news and coordinated disinformation on social media about topics that were sensitive in terms of national security, foreign relations, and public order “In a statement, the ministry said.
Govt blocks 22 YouTube channels for posting ‘anti-India’ content
According to the authorities, many YouTube channels were used to distribute fake news on the Indian Armed Forces, Jammu and Kashmir, and other themes. According to the report, certain “anti-India” content published from numerous social media accounts managed in a coordinated manner from Pakistan was also ordered to be removed.
“It was determined that these Indian YouTube-based channels produced a significant quantity of false material related to the current crisis in Ukraine, with the purpose of jeopardizing India’s foreign connections with other countries,” the report said.