The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting blocked 16 Pakistan-based YouTube news channels for spreading disinformation related to India’s national security, foreign relations, and public order.
According to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, YouTube channels were spreading false, unverified information to create panic, incite communal disharmony, and disturb public order in India.
The blocked social media accounts include six Pakistan-based and 10 India-based YouTube news channels, having a cumulative viewership of over 68 crore.
None of the digital news publishers had furnished information to the Ministry as required under rule 18 of the IT Rules, 2021, the government said.
The ministry said that 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.
Moreover highlighting the content published by Indian YouTube channels, the release stated, “Examples include false claims related to the announcement of a pan-India lockdown due to COVID-19 thereby threatening the migrant workers, and fabricated claims alleging threats to certain religious communities, etc. Such content was observed to be detrimental to public order in the country.”
As per the release, multiple India-based YouTube channels were observed to publish unverified news and videos having the potential to create panic among various sections of the society.
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 Jammu, and Kashmir, and India’s foreign relations in the light of the situation in Ukraine among others, it said.
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, it added.