In yet another crackdown, India has slapped a ban on as many as 16 YouTube channels out of which as many as 6 were based in Pakistan. Ten of these were from India. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said that these channels were spreading disinformation related to India’s national security, foreign relations, and public order. These channels had a cumulative viewership of over 68 crore.
These YouTube channels were spreading false, unverified information to create panic, incite communal disharmony, and disturb public order in India, the ministry added.
None of the digital news publishers had furnished information to the Ministry as required under rule 18 of the IT Rules, 2021, the government said.
The ministry said that the content published by some of the India-based YouTube channels referred to a community as terrorists, and incited hatred among the members of various religious communities. Such content was found to have the potential to create communal disharmony, and disturb public order.
As far as the content published by Indian YouTube channels was concerned, the official statement said, “Examples include false claims related to the announcement of a pan-India lockdown due to COVID-19 thereby threatening the migrant workers, and fabricated claims alleging threats to certain religious communities, etc. Such content was observed to be detrimental to public order in the country.”
The Pakistani YouTube channels were posting fake news about India on various subjects such as the Indian Army, Jammu, and Kashmir, and India’s foreign relations in the light of the situation in Ukraine among others, it said.
The content of these channels was observed to be completely false, and sensitive from the perspective of national security, sovereignty, and integrity of India, and India’s friendly relations with foreign States, it added.
As per the release, multiple India-based YouTube channels were observed to publish unverified news and videos having the potential to create panic among various sections of the society.
Check list of banned YouTube channels
The blocked YouTube channels include:
MRF TV LIVE,
Saini Education Research,
The channels based in Pakistan include:
Reality Checks and
The Voice of Asia.
(with ANI inputs)