Indian govt blocks 16 YouTube channels, including 6 from Pakistan for spreading fake news

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry on Monday blocked 16 YouTube channels for ‘spreading disinformation related to India’s national security, foreign relations, and public order’. Of the 16 blocked channels, six were based in Pakistan and the rest in India, the government said.

According to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, the blocked YouTube channels and the Facebook account had a cumulative viewership of over 68 crore and 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 in the country, and public order,” the government wrote in a release.

“YouTube channels were spreading false, unverified information to create panic, incite communal disharmony and disturb public order in India. Blocked YouTube-based news channels had a viewership of over 68 crore,” it added.

Furthermore, the MeitY in its release said that the YouTube channels based in Pakistan were being used in a coordinated manner to post fake news about various topic pertaining to India. The list includes subjects such as the Indian Army, Jammu and Kashmir, and India’s foreign relations in the light of situation in Ukraine among other things.

Recently, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting directed the blocking of 22 YouTube-based news channels, of which four were from Pakistan, alleging that they were spreading fake news that could impact national security, foreign relations and public order.

The ministry since December 2021, issued directions for blocking 78 YouTube-based news channels and several other social media accounts on grounds related to national security, sovereignty and integrity of India, public order, etc.

“It was observed that a significant amount of false content published by these Indian YouTube based channels related to the ongoing situation in Ukraine, and aimed at jeopardising India’s foreign relations with other countries,” the Ministry wrote in the release.

Including its recent move, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has issued directions for blocking 78 YouTube channels and several other social media accounts on grounds related to national security, sovereignty and integrity of India, and public order since December 2021.

Conclusion

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting blocked 16 YouTube channels for spreading disinformation about India. 6 of the channels were from Pakistan, the rest were in India. The government said that the blocked channels had a total viewership of 68 crore and were spreading “false, unverified information to create panic, incite communal dish