The government blocked 94 YouTube channels and 19 social media accounts in 2021-22 for spreading fake news

Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said on Thursday July 21 that the ministry would take strong action against YouTube channels working against the interests of the country by spreading fake news and propaganda on Internet.

While answering a question from the Rajya Sabha, Thakur said the ministry would act firmly against the 94 YouTube channels, 19 social media accounts and 747 URLs spreading fake news and propaganda on the internet and block them, as reported. the Hindustan Times.

He added that the government would act rigidly against agencies working against the integrity and sovereignty of the country. The Press Information Bureau (PIB) has also taken down fake news and 875 posts on its social media platforms, and these actions are taken under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act.

What initiatives has the government taken?

To check for COVID-related fake news, he said a dedicated cell of the GDP Fact-Checking Unit was established on March 31, 2020, from which people can check information related to COVID-19. The team responded to 34,125 actionable queries related to COVID-19, as reported by The Indian Express.

Furthermore, other initiatives undertaken by the ministry include a crackdown on digital channels, portals and social media running an anti-Indian agenda by spreading fake news. It started in December when the ministry issued instructions to block 20 YouTube channels and two websites operating from Pakistan.

Alt News co-founder arrested

Responding to opposition over cases against Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair, the minister said it was essential to differentiate between a fact checker and those trying to spread false information under the guise of cover of fact-checking.

Anurag Thakur asked the ministers to outline the modus operandi to deal with those who spread hatred and animosity using their comments on social media based on what actions will be taken, Suo Motu, against the media.

Read also :’ Questionable and non-transparent methodology: India rejects the results of the World Press Freedom Index 2022

Raymond T. Helms