Four of them are from Pakistan. As a result, action has been taken against Indian YouTube news publishers for the first time since the notification of IT Rules 2021 in February last year. The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has been directed to block 22 YouTube news channels. Four of them are from Pakistan. These YouTube channels have been accused of spreading fake news allegedly to mislead viewers. Action has been taken against Indian YouTube news publishers for the first time since the notification of IT Rules 2021 in February last year.
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 directions to stop a total of 78 YouTube-based news channels and social media accounts on India’s national security, sovereignty, and integrity.
The total viewership of blocked YouTube channels was over 260 million. In an official statement, the Ministry has said that these platforms were spreading fake news on sensitive topics like national security and India’s foreign relations. Without naming these channels, it is being said that 18 Indian and four Pakistan-based YouTube news channels have been blocked.
According to the Ministry, fake news on topics like Indian Armed Forces, Jammu, and Kashmir was posted through these YouTube channels. It also includes anti-India content published from several social media accounts operated in Pakistan. The blocked YouTube channels 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 used templates and logos of some TV news channels to make viewers believe that the news is actual.
These YouTube channels are said to have used false thumbnails. Changed the title and thumbnail of the video to make the content viral on social media. In many cases, it was observed that fake news about India was coming from Pakistan. The Ministry says that the Government of India is committed to ensuring an authentic, credible, and secure online news media environment and thwarting attempts to undermine the country’s sovereignty and, integrity, national security.