8 YouTube Channels, 1 Facebook Account Blocked Over “Fake, Anti-India, Communal” Content
Since December of last year, 102 YouTube channels have been blocked by the Indian government due to “false, anti-India propaganda,” including eight channels run from Pakistan and seven Indian ones.
According to a release from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting today, this most recent action also involved the blocking of a Facebook account utilising emergency powers under IT Rules 2021. The ministry claimed that the eight YouTube channels, which have a combined audience of over 114 million viewers and close to 86 lakh subscribers, “promote animosity among religious communities in India… [with] misleading allegations.”
Examples of fake news include claims that the Indian government has ordered the destruction of religious structures, forbade the observance of religious holidays, or declared a religious war in India, the statement continued.
To deceive the viewers, they utilised “false and sensational thumbnails, photographs of news anchors, and logos of certain TV news programmes.” The ministry shared several photographs of the thumbnails or covers of the movies, stating that they covered a variety of topics, including the military and Jammu and Kashmir.
Sab Kuch Dekho has the highest subscribers (19.4 lakh) and views (almost 33 crore) out of the restricted Indian channels. The others are U&V TV, AM Razvi, Gouravshali Pawan Mithilanchal, SeeTop5TH, and Sarkari Update. Loktantra TV has also had its Facebook account suspended.
22 YouTube channels were blocked in April for similar reasons. Of those, four were from Pakistan and the remaining were from India.
The government is “dedicated towards providing an authentic, trustworthy, and safe online news media environment,” according to the release from today. To “prevent any attempts at undermining India’s sovereignty and integrity, national security, foreign relations, and public order,” action has been taken against various social media channels.
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