Indian government blocks 45 videos from 10 YouTube channels

On Monday, the Indian government again unleashed the ax on 10 other Youtube channels for spreading disinformation related to the Agnipath program and on issues related to national security and external relations. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said it had blocked up to 45 YouTube videos from 10 different YouTube channels under 2021 IT rules.

“Based on information provided by intelligence agencies, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting ordered YouTube to block 45 YouTube videos from 10 YouTube channels. Blocking orders for the relevant videos were issued on 23.09. 2022 under the provisions of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Code of Ethics) Rules 2021. The blocked videos had a cumulative audience of over 1 crore 30 lakh views,” posted the press release by the I&B ministry read.

The Press Information Office used its official Twitter account to inform the same. “@MIB_India Blocks 45 YouTube Videos from 10 YouTube Channels Under IT Rules, 2021 Videos Containing Hate Speech Against Religious Communities and Spreading Community Discord Blocked,” read the Tweet, while sharing footage of some unverified claims which have been broadcast.

“Some of the blocked videos were used to spread disinformation on issues related to Indian Armed Forces, India’s National Security apparatus, Kashmir, etc. Some of the videos depicted India’s mistaken outer border with parts of J&K and Ladakh outside Indian Territory,” he added. .

In its press release, the Ministry of I&B said that “the content was found to be false and sensitive from the perspective of national security and India’s friendly relations with foreign states.”

The blocked videos include one from YouTuber Dhruv Rathee’s YouTube channel which shows parts of Indian Territory in Pakistan

He added that such videos proved likely to cause community discord. The content blocked by the ministry, the statement continued, was found to be detrimental to India’s sovereignty and integrity, state security, India’s friendly relations with foreign states and the public order in the country.

The press release included screenshots of two such fake videos which were used to undermine the Indian government and had the potential to jeopardize India’s relations with other foreign powers, one of which was created by pro-AAP vlogger Dhruv Rathee on his YouTube channel. The video showed parts of Indian Territory in Pakistan.

The other was from a different channel broadcasting misinformation about CISF.

The detailed press release can be read here.

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Speaking to the media, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said the videos contained fake news and twisted content with the aim of spreading hatred among religious communities.

Indian government blocked 8 YouTube channels in August 2022

It should be recalled that also last month, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting blocked 7 Indian and 1 Pakistan-based YouTube channels under IT rules, 2021. The ministry informed that the blocked channels have an audience combined over 144 crores, and a total of 85 lakhs 73 thousand subscribers.

The channels were blocked for airing fake anti-Indian content and making money from it. Besides the above Youtube channels, Loktantra TV’s Facebook account was also banned at the time.

Raymond T. Helms