India has blocked eight YouTube channels for spreading fake news and misinformation about the country. Seven of these accounts belonged to Indian YouTubers and one belonged to a Pakistani YouTuber.
The growing epidemic of misinformation and fake news and misinformation on YouTube has become a big problem. Now, in a shocker, India has banned a total of eight YouTube channels, out of which seven were of Indian YouTubers and one belonged to a Pakistani YouTuber. Alongside, one Facebook account and two Facebook posts have also been taken down. According to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, these channels were spreading fake news and misinformation against India. This move comes merely a week after the news of the government blocking VLC media player’s website came to surface.
The Ministry used its emergency powers under the IT Rules, 2021 to ban these YouTube channels and the Facebook account. The YouTube channels which have been banned were quite popular and had a total 114 crore views and above 85 lakh subscribers, according to a statement released by the government.
Government bans seven Pakistani, one Indian YouTube channels
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting also highlighted that these channels contributed to spread hatred among religious communities and incited enmity through their content. These banned YouTube channels regularly made false claims and spread misinformation. Horrifically, they even targeted religion.
“Examples include fake news such as the Government of India to have ordered demolition of religious structures; Government of India to have banned celebration of religious festivals, declaration of religious war in India, etc. Such content was found to have the potential to create communal disharmony and disturb public order in the country”, said the ministry.
“The YouTube channels were also used to post fake news on various subjects such as the Indian Armed Forces, Jammu and Kashmir, etc. The content was observed to be completely false and sensitive from the perspective of national security and India’s friendly relations with foreign States,” it added.
The blocked Indian YouTube channels include Loktantra Tv with 12.90 lakh subscribers, U&V TV with 10.20 lakh subscribers, AM Razvi with 95,900 subscribers, Gouravshali Pawan Mithilanchal with 7 lakh subscribers, Sarkari Update with 80,900 subscribers and Sab Kuch Dekho with 19.40 lakh subscribers. On the other hand the only Pakistani YouTube channel to be banned was News ki Dunya with 97,000 subscribers.