New Delhi: The government on Monday blocked 16 YouTube channels for spreading disinformation related to India’s national security, foreign relations, and public order. The blocked YouTube channels included six Pakistan-based news channels and 10 Indian news channels, according to news agency ANI. The Indian and Pakistani YouTube-based news channels were blocked for allegedly spreading fake news to mislead viewers.
The banned YouTube channels were spreading false and unverified information to create panic, incite communal disharmony and disturb public order in the country. The blocked YouTube-based news channels had a viewership of over 68 crores, the news agency added.
“Utilizing the emergency powers under the IT Rules, 2021, the government via two separate orders, issued directions for blocking of sixteen (16) YouTube based news channels and one (1) Facebook account,” the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting said in a statement.
None of the digital news publishers had furnished information to the Ministry as required under rule 18 of the IT Rules, 2021.
This is the second time in a month that the Information and Broadcasting Ministry is blocking YouTube-based news channels over misinformation under the IT Rules, 2021. Earlier this month, 22 YouTube channels were blocked by the government for spreading disinformation related to India’s national security, foreign relations, and public order.
This story is being updated.