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Government blocks 22 YouTube channels for Fake News

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has blocked 22 YouTube channels for spreading misinformation related to India’s national security. The government in a statement said that this is the first time Indian YouTube channels are being blocked under the new IT Rules of 2021. PIB also said that the I&B Ministry has also blocked three Twitter accounts, one Facebook account, and one news website. The government also laid out the details of these YouTube channels as to why they were blocked. It also showed screenshots of the kind of content these channels were showing.

The statement said that these YouTube channels were using logos of TV news channels and false thumbnails to mislead viewers. Further, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has also blocked three Twitter accounts, one Facebook account, and one news website alongside the 22 YouTube channels.

“The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, utilising the emergency powers under the IT Rules, 2021, has issued orders on 04.04.2022 for blocking of twenty-two (22) YouTube based news channels, three (3) Twitter accounts, one (1) Facebook account, and one (1) news website. The blocked YouTube channels had a cumulative viewership of over 260 crore, and were used to spread fake news, and coordinated disinformation over social media on subjects sensitive from the perspective of national security, India’s foreign relations, and public order,” the release said.