The Indian government Monday once again dropped the axe on another 10 Youtube channels for spreading disinformation related to the Agnipath scheme and on matters related to national security and foreign relations. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has informed that it has blocked as many as 45 videos on YouTube from across 10 different YouTube channels under IT Rules, 2021.
“Based on the inputs from intelligence agencies, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has directed YouTube to block 45 YouTube videos from 10 YouTube channels. Orders to block the concerned videos were issued on 23.09.2022 under the provisions of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021. The blocked videos had a cumulative viewership of over 1 crore 30 lakh views,” the statement issued by the I&B ministry read.
The Press Information Bureau has taken to its official Twitter handle to inform the same. “@MIB_India blocks 45 YouTube videos from 10 YouTube channels under IT Rules, 2021 Videos containing hateful speech against religious communities & spreading communal disharmony blocked,” read the Tweet, while it shared images of some unverified claims that have been disseminated.
Some of the videos blocked were being used to spread disinformation on issues related to Indian Armed Forces, India’s national security apparatus, Kashmir, etc
Certain videos depicted erroneous external boundary of India with parts of J&K and Ladakh outside Indian territory
— PIB India (@PIB_India) September 26, 2022
“Some of the videos blocked were being used to spread disinformation on issues related to Indian Armed Forces, India’s national security apparatus, Kashmir, etc. Certain videos depicted erroneous external boundary of India with parts of J&K and Ladakh outside Indian territory,” it added.
In its press release, the Ministry of I and B stated, “the content was observed to be false and sensitive from the perspective of national security and India’s friendly relations with foreign States.”
Blocked videos include one from YouTuber Dhruv Rathee’s YouTube channel which shows parts of the Indian Territory in Pakistan
It added that such videos were found to have the potential to cause communal disharmony. The content blocked by the Ministry, the statement further read, was found to be detrimental to the sovereignty and integrity of India, security of the State, India’s friendly relations with foreign States, and public order in the country.
The press statement included screenshots from two such fake videos that were used to undermine the Indian government and had the potential to endanger India’s relations with other foreign powers, one of which was created by pro-AAP vlogger Dhruv Rathee on his YouTube channel. The video showed parts of the Indian Territory in Pakistan.
The other one was from a different channel spreading misinformation about CISF.
The detailed press release can be read here.
Speaking to the media, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said that the videos contained fake news and morphed content with the intent to spread hatred amongst religious communities.
— DD News (@DDNewslive) September 26, 2022
Government of India blocked 8 YouTube channels in August 2022
It may be recalled that last month also, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting blocked 7 Indian and 1 Pakistan-based YouTube channel under IT rules, 2021. The ministry has informed that the blocked channels had a combined viewership of over 144 crores, and a total of 85 lakhs 73 thousand subscribers.
The channels were blocked for airing fake anti-India content and earning money from it. Apart from the above Youtube channels, the Facebook account of Loktantra TV was also banned then.