Government bans 45 YouTube videos for spreading false information and community discord

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has banned 45 YouTube videos for spreading “misinformation” and “spewing venom against India”.

New Delhi,UPDATED: Sep 26, 2022 6:19 PM IST

Blocked YouTube videos had a cumulative audience of over 1 crore.

Blocked YouTube videos had a cumulative audience of over 1 crore.

By Sumit Kumar Singh: The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting ordered the online video-sharing and social media platform – YouTube to block 45 videos from 10 channels. The blocked videos had a cumulative audience of over 1 crore 30 lakh views. YouTuber Dhruv Rathee’s video is among those blocked.

The decision was made on September 23 based on information provided by intelligence agencies.

“The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has banned and suspended 10 YouTube channels for attempting to sabotage ties with friendly countries through disinformation, spewing venom against the country. This has already been done in the interests of the nation, and will also do so in the future,” I&B Minister Anurag Thakur said.

“Orders to block the affected videos were issued on 23.09.2022 under the provisions of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Code of Ethics) Rules 2021,” the ministry said. in a press release.

The content of these videos included fake news and tweaked videos disseminated with the aim of spreading hatred among religious communities.

Examples include false claims such as the government stripping religious rights from certain communities, violent threats against religious communities, declaration of civil war in India and others. Such videos have proven to be likely to cause community discord and disrupt public order in the country.

Some of the videos blocked by the ministry were used to spread disinformation on issues related to Agnipath program, Indian armed forces, Indian national security apparatus, Kashmir and others.

“The content was found to be false and sensitive from the perspective of national security and India’s friendly relations with foreign states,” the ministry said.

Some videos depicted India’s mistaken outer border with parts of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh outside Indian territory. Such misrepresentation of maps has proven to be detrimental to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India.

The content blocked by the ministry has been deemed detrimental to India’s sovereignty and integrity, state security, India’s friendly relations with foreign states and public order in the country. Accordingly, the content was covered by Section 69A of the Information Technology Act 2000.

The ministry said the government remains committed to thwarting any attempt to undermine India’s sovereignty and integrity, national security, external relations and public order.

Shirley K. Rosa