Center blocks 8 YouTube accounts and 1 Facebook account for ‘fake, anti-Indian’ hate content

The Center on Thursday blocked eight YouTube-based news channels, including one operating from Pakistan and a Facebook account for posting “fake anti-Indian content” online.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in a statement today that action has been taken by imposing emergency powers under the Information Technology Rules, 2021. The moving orders have been given on August 16. The blocked YouTube channels had cumulative views of over 114 crores and were subscribed by over 85 lakh users.

After analyzing the content, it was established that the purpose of these YouTube channels was to spread hatred among the various religious communities in the country and included the program of spreading fake news, the ministry said.

Examples of some of the fake news disseminated through these channels included information such as “Government of India ordered demolition of religious structures; Government of India banned celebration of religious festivals, declaration of religious war in India , etc.”

Such content has proven to have the potential to create community discord and disturb public order in the country, according to the ministry statement.

YouTube channels have also been used to post fake news on various topics such as Indian Armed Forces and Jammu and Kashmir. The content was observed as completely false and sensitive from the perspective of national security and India’s friendly relations with foreign states, the ministry said.

Blocked Indian YouTube channels have been observed to use fake and sensational thumbnails, images of news anchors and logos of some TV news channels to mislead viewers into believing that the news is genuine.

All the YouTube channels blocked by the ministry displayed advertisements on their videos with fake content harmful to communal harmony, public order and India’s external relations, the ministry said.

“News Ki Duniya”, based in Pakistan and with more than 95,000 subscribers, was blocked.

Loktantra TV’s Facebook page, which has been blocked, has over 3.62 lakh followers. Loktantra TV’s YouTube site with over 12.90 lakh subscribers had previously been blocked.

Among the blocked sites, ‘Sab Kuch Dekho’ had the most subscribers with 19.4 lakh and nearly 33 crore views.

U&V TV with over 10.20 lakh subscribers was also blocked. Other blocked sites include AM Razvi, Gouravshali Pawan Mithilanchal, SeeTop5TH and Sarkari Update.

The content blocked by the ministry has been deemed detrimental to India’s sovereignty and integrity, state security, India’s friendly relations with foreign states and public order in the country. Accordingly, the content was covered by Section 69A of the Information Technology Act 2000.

With this action, the ministry has since December 2021 issued instructions for the blocking of 102 YouTube-based news channels and several other social media accounts.

The Government of India remains committed to ensuring an authentic, trustworthy and safe online media environment and to thwarting any attempt to undermine sovereignty and integrity, national security, external relations and the India’s public order. (ANI)

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