New Delhi: The information and broadcasting ministry has blocked 16 YouTube channels for ‘spreading disinformation related to India’s national security, foreign relations, and public order’. The blocked YouTube channels included six Pakistan-based news channels and 10 Indian news channels, according to sources. The Indian and Pakistani YouTube-based news channels were blocked for allegedly spreading fake news to mislead viewers.
This is not the first time that the Centre has decided to block Youtube channels, earlier this month, the government had blocked 22 YouTube channels for ‘spreading disinformation related to India’s national security.
The banned YouTube channels were spreading false and unverified information to create panic, incite communal disharmony and disturb public order in the country. The blocked YouTube-based news channels had a viewership of over 68 crores, the news agency added.
“Utilizing the emergency powers under the IT Rules, 2021, the government via two separate orders, issued directions for blocking of sixteen (16) YouTube based news channels and one (1) Facebook account,” the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting said in a statement.
None of the digital news publishers had furnished information to the Ministry as required under rule 18 of the IT Rules, 2021.
“It was observed that a significant amount of false content published by these Indian-based YouTube channels related to the ongoing situation in Ukraine and aimed at jeopardizing India’s foreign relations with other countries,” the government added.