India cites ‘hate speech’ for wanting to block 45 YouTube videos

Based on information provided by intelligence agencies, India’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting ordered YouTube to block 45 videos from 10 channels.

Block orders for the affected videos were issued on September 23, 2022 under provisions of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Code of Ethics) Rules 2021, the Office of information from the press of India.

The content included “fake news” and “altered videos” disseminated with the intention of inciting hatred between religious communities. Examples include false allegations such as government withdrawal of religious rights from certain communities, violent threats against religious communities, declaration of civil war in India, etc.

Such videos have proven to be likely to cause community discord and disrupt public order in the country.

Some of the videos blocked by the ministry were used to spread misinformation on issues related to Agnipath program, Indian armed forces, Indian national security apparatus, Kashmir, etc.

The content was deemed “false and sensitive” from the perspective of national security and India’s friendly relations with foreign states.

Some videos depicted a mistaken outer border of India with parts of J&K and Ladakh outside Indian territory. Such misrepresentation of maps has proven to be detrimental to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India.

Speaking on the matter, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said the Indian government remains committed to thwarting any attempt to undermine sovereignty and integrity, national security, external relations and public order of India.

Raymond T. Helms