India bans 35 Pakistan based YouTube channels, 2 websites
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has ordered a ban on 35 YouTube channels and two websites which were running anti-India propaganda and spreading fake news "in a coordinated manner". These websites and YouTube channels were being operated from Pakistan, I&B Secretary Apurva Chandra told a press conference on Friday. Indian intelligence agencies were closely monitoring these social media accounts and websites and flagged them to the ministry for immediate action, he added. The Ministry also banned 2 Twitter accounts, 2 Instagram Accounts, 2 websites and a Facebook account, stated Vikram Sahay, Joint Secretary (P&A), Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Friday for spreading misinformation.
Joint Secretary Sahay said, "The common factor amongst all these accounts have been that they operate from Pakistan and spread fake anti-India news and other content." The Ministry has issued orders to the respective social media intermediaries and internet service providers through the Department of Telecom for blocking all the accounts.
"Vide five separate orders issued under rule 16 of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, the Ministry has ordered to block these Pakistan-based social media accounts and websites," the ministry said in a statement later.
Sahay added, "The blocked accounts have contents on Indian Arm Forces, Kashmir, India's foreign relation with other countries and the death of former CDS Bipin Rawat", said the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. "The blocked social media accounts had over 1.2 crore subscribers with a viewership of 130 crores".
The 35 accounts blocked by the Ministry were all operating from Pakistan and were identified to be part of four coordinated disinformation networks. These blocked accounts include the Apni Duniya Network operating 14 YouTube channels, and Talha Films Network operating 13 YouTube channels, stated the Information and Broadcasting release.
The contents on the blocked accounts violated five separate orders issued under rule 16 of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.
The orders were issued on Thursday.