Government bans 8 YouTube channels and 1 FB account for spreading ‘hate’ | Latest India News
The Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry has blocked eight monetized YouTube channels and one Facebook account for “spreading hatred between religious communities in India”, the ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
The orders to remove YouTube channels, seven of which are based in India and one in Pakistan, were issued on Tuesday.
“False allegations have been made in various videos from blocked YouTube channels. Examples include fake news such as the Indian government ordering the demolition of religious structures; The Indian government has banned the celebration of religious holidays, the declaration of war of religion in India, etc. Such content has proven to have the potential to create community discord and disrupt public order in the country,” the statement read.
The blocked channels had a cumulative audience of more than 1.14 billion and were subscribed by more than 850,000 users, the ministry said.
“They were making money spreading propaganda,” said one person close to the development, asking not to be named.
The takedown orders were issued under Section 69(A) of the Information Technology Act, which empowers the government to take down content that violates the integrity and sovereignty of the country.
The statement adds that the channels have been used to “publish fake news on various topics such as Indian Armed Forces, Jammu and Kashmir, etc.”
“The content has been observed to be completely false and sensitive from the perspective of national security and India’s friendly relations with foreign states,” he said.
The ministry said that “blocked Indian YouTube channels used fake and sensational thumbnails, images of news anchors and logos of some TV news channels to mislead viewers into believing the news was genuine” .
Since December 2021, the government has so far blocked 102 YouTube-based news channels and several other social media channels under Section 69(A) which allowed the government to remove channels that endanger the sovereignty and integrity of India, or threaten public order.
In July, Union I&B Minister Anurag Thakur said the Center had blocked 94 YouTube channels, 19 social media accounts and 747 Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) in 2021-22 for spreading fake news.