Govt blocks 6 Pakistani, 10 Indian YouTube channels for spreading disinformation
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has blocked 16 YouTube channels — 6 Pakistani and 10 Indian — for spreading disinformation related to India’s national security, foreign relations, and public order. One Facebook account was also blocked by the state.
The blocked YouTube channels had a combined viewership of over 68 crore users. The channels were blocked you emergency powers under IT Rules, 2021. According to the government, these YouTube channels were spreading false, unverified information to create panic, incite communal disharmony, and disturb public order in India.
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, 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 content published by some of the India-based YouTube channels referred to a community as terrorists, and incited hatred among the members of various religious communities. Such content was found to have the potential to create communal disharmony and disturb public order.
YouTube channels based in Pakistan were found to have been used in a coordinated manner to post fake news about India on various subjects such as the Indian Army, Jammu, and Kashmir, and India’s foreign relations in the light of the situation in Ukraine, etc.
The content of these channels was observed to be completely false, and sensitive from the perspective of national security, sovereignty and integrity of India, and India’s friendly relations with foreign States.
On 23rd April 2022, the Ministry had also advised private TV news channels against making false claims and using scandalous headlines. The government of India remains committed to ensuring a safe and secure information environment in India across print, television, and online media.