New Delhi : Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has ordered the blocking of 35 YouTube news channels and two websites operating from Pakistan for their involvement in spreading anti-India fake news on digital media platforms.
The ministry said in a statement that the YouTube accounts blocked by the ministry had a total subscriber base (subscribers) of over 12 million and their videos had over 130 crore views. In addition, two Twitter accounts, two Instagram accounts and one Facebook account have also been blocked by the government for their involvement in spreading coordinated anti-India propaganda on the Internet.
The ministry has ordered the blocking of these social media accounts and websites based in Pakistan under five separate orders issued under Rule 16 of the Information Technology (Intermediate Guidelines and Digital Media Code of Conduct) Rules, 2021. It said, Indian intelligence agencies are closely monitoring these social media accounts and websites and sending them to the ministry for immediate action. All 35 YouTube accounts blocked by the ministry were being operated from Pakistan and were identified as part of four coordinated propaganda networks. These include Apni Duniya Network, which operates 14 YouTube channels, and Talha Films Network, which operates 13 YouTube channels.
A set of four channels and a set of two other channels were also opened to harmonize with each other.According to the ministry, all these networks were opened for the purpose of spreading fake news in India. Common hashtags and editing were done in these channels in such a way that the audience would believe it. Not only this, some YouTube channels were being operated by anchors of Pakistani TV news channels.The YouTube channel, website and other social media accounts blocked by the ministry were used by Pakistan to spread anti-India fake news about sensitive topics related to India.These include topics such as the Indian Army, Jammu and Kashmir and India’s relations with other countries. It was observed that massive
The ministry said the channels propagated content to encourage separatism, divide India on the basis of religion and create enmity between different sections of the Indian society. Such information was expected to have the potential to incite spectators to commit crimes adversely affecting public order in the country.
The action by the government comes after blocking 20 YouTube channels and two websites in December last year, when emergency powers under the IT Rules, 2021 were first used to take action against anti-India fake news networks Was.