According to the latest reports coming from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in India, the ministry has officially blocked several YouTube channels, Facebook accounts and a post on Facebook.
The content on the blocked channels and accounts was allegedly disinformation and fake news regarding national security issues. Foreign relations of the country and issues related to public order were also part of the content.
The report suggests that the move by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting came after analysing that the topics which were discussed on these platforms were sensitive to Indian interests and foreign relations with the country.
The issues were presented in a wrongful manner using fake and misleading information, which can cause problems in foreign relations and destroy public order in India.
Out of eight YouTube channels which got blocked today, 7 are based in India, while one channel originates from Pakistan.
Indian YouTube channels such as Loktantra Tv, U&V TV, AM Razvi, Sarkari Update are a few channels that were blocked by the ministry.
Pakistan-based YouTube channel, News ki Dunya has also been blocked today by the government.
Information and broadcasting ministry said in a statement that all the right YouTube channels together had a cumulative viewership of 114 crores. The subscriber base of all these channels together was more than 85 lakh YouTube users.
Apart from the sensitive issues mentioned above, the YouTube channels and Facebook accounts which got blocked were also sharing fake news and misleading information on their platform regarding Indian army and Jammu and Kashmir.
The ministry said that the government of India will do whatever possible in order to keep online news media platforms safe and trustworthy. It also reiterated that government will take any extra effort to thwart any attempts which could undermine the sovereignty and security of the Nation.
A few weeks ago, in the month of June, the Indian government decided to ban official Twitter accounts of the embassies of Pakistan in the UN, Turkey, Iran, and Egypt. These handles allegedly took part in a misinformation campaign to tarnish India’s image on the international stage. They also tried to instigate communal violence in India using fake news.
Soon after the ban, Pakistan released a strongly worded condemnation of the move by the Indian government and called upon Twitter to respect and abide by its own rules and regulations.
In the month of April, the government banned more than 35 YouTube channels for targeting India with fake news and disinformation. Out of total blocked channels, more than 28 were based in India and 10 were in Pakistan.