The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said on Friday it had removed 35 YouTube channels for spreading anti-Indian information on the internet. New intelligence was received on 35 YouTube accounts, two Twitter accounts, two Instagram accounts, two websites and one Facebook account, the ministry said. These all operate from Pakistan and distribute anti-India fake and divisive news and other content, the ministry said.
“The match is absolutely fake and poisonous, as the government is responsible for the death of Bipin Rawat, the daughter of Bipin Rawat accepts Islam, the North Korean army goes to Kashmir etc. What nonsense is this! And this YouTube video accounts had a full subscriber base of more than 1.20 crore. These videos had 130 crore views, which is almost the population of India. Our intelligence agencies are now alive to the situation and more such news channels on YouTube will be blocked,” said secretary Apurva Chandra in a press conference on Friday.
“This is also the responsibility of the intermediaries. YouTube should also see that this is absolutely fake news,” the secretary said, adding that the blocking was done with an appeal to the emergency facility.
The anti-Indian and fake content promoted by those channels included topics such as the Indian Armed Forces, Jammu and Kashmir, India’s foreign relations with other countries, the death of the former CDS late Bipin Rawat, separatist ideas and views, the ministry informed.
The ministry said the 35 accounts had been identified as part of four coordinated disinformation networks, including the Apni Duniya Network which operates 14 YouTube channels and Talha Films Network which operates 13 YouTube channels.
“As an intermediary you cannot allow such fake news channels. There has to be a degree of truth and research. The only truth in the fake news about Bipin Rawat’s death is that Bipin Rawat’s helicopter has crashed,” the secretary said.
This is not the ministry’s first attack on social media outlets that spread false information. In December 2021, the ministry blocked 20 Pakistan-based YouTube channels and two websites under IT rules.