Center orders blocking of 35 Pak-backed YouTube channels and several social media accounts

A month after blocking 20 anti-India handles, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has now ordered the blocking of 35 YouTube-based news channels and two websites involved in spreading propaganda against India in a coordinated manner on digital media, said I&B Secretary Apurva. Chandra said.

Blocked YouTube accounts include popular Apni Duniya network and Talha movies and some operated by popular Pakistan anchors, I&B ministry officials said. The blocked channels had a total subscriber base of over 12 million and their videos had over 1.3 billion views.

Chandra said the blocking orders were issued under the emergency provisions of the Information Technology Rules 2021 (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Code of Ethics). Indian intelligence agencies were closely monitoring these social media accounts and websites and reporting them to the ministry for immediate action.

An inter-ministerial committee will meet next week to ratify the order, joint secretary Vikram Sahay said, adding that the content was mostly offensive and untrue about former CDS Bipin Rawat, his family, Kashmir, Indian army , India’s position regarding China, the feeling of separatism in some states and other issues.

Raymond T. Helms