Government Blocks 22 YouTube Channels For Spreading Misinformation

Story Highlights
  • The ministry of information and broadcasting has blocked 22 YouTube channels.
  • These channels were blocked for spreading “fake news” on issues such as Indian armed forces and Jammu and Kashmir.
  • YouTube channels were supposedly using logos and templates of certain news channels, including images of anchors.

New Delhi: The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, on Tuesday, stated that it has blocked 22 YouTube channels, along with three Twitter accounts and one Facebook account for spreading disinformation related to India’s national security, foreign relations and public order. Among the 22 channels, 18 are Indian YouTube news channels and 4 are Pakistan-based YouTube news channels.

ARP News, AOP News, LDC News, SarkariBabu, SS ZONE Hindi, Smart News, News23Hindi, Online Khabar, DP news, PKB News, KisanTak, Borana News, Sarkari News Update, Bharat Mausam, RJ ZONE 6, Exam Report, Digi Gurukul and Dinbhar ki khabrein are the Indian channels blocked. DuniyaMeryAagy, Ghulam NabiMadni, HAQEEQAT TV and HAQEEQAT TV 2.0 are the four Pakistani YouTube news channels. DuniyaMeryAagy’s website, Twitter account and Facebook account have also been blocked, while Ghulam NabiMadni and HAQEEQAT TV’s Twitter accounts have been blocked.

The ministry added that the blocked channels have a cumulative viewership of 260 crore. The channels spread fake news and coordinated disinformation over social media on sensitive subjects such as Jammu and Kashmir, Ukraine, and the Indian Army. These channels used templates and logos of certain TV news channels, along with images of their news anchors to mislead viewers, the government added. Also the title and thumbnail were frequently changed to ensure the videos went viral.

The Pakistani channels also had systematic anti-India fake news. With this blocking, the ministry has, since December 2021, blocked 78 YouTube news channels and several social media accounts on grounds related to national security. “The Government of India remains committed towards ensuring an authentic, trustworthy, and safe online news media environment, and thwart any attempts at undermining India’s sovereignty and integrity, national security, foreign relations, and public order,” the government said.

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