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I&B Ministry blocks Pakistan-based YouTube channels, websites

The common factor amongst all these accounts have been that they operate from Pakistan and spread fake anti-India news and other content.

Published: 21st January 2022 07:13 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd January 2022 09:50 AM   |  A+A-

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For representational purposes (Express Illustrations)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Continuing its crackdown on Pakistan-based digital channels, portals, and social media handles running anti-India remarks and spreading fake news, the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) has ordered blocking of 35 YouTube news channels and two websites.

Briefing about the action, Apurva Chandra, secretary of the ministry, on Friday said the gravity of the situation could be gauged from the fact that the blocked channels had over 1.20 crore subscribers. The videos had over 130 crore views.

He informed that additionally, the government has issued an order to block two Twitter profiles, two Instagram accounts and an unspecified number og Facebook users for spreading ‘coordinated’ anti-India disinformation over the internet.

“They are very toxic. All these channels are based in Pakistan. Totally baseless content which has no sense at all. This was a sort of war against the country, war of misinformation, against the sovereignty of the country. We received several inputs from various Indian intelligence agencies, which were monitoring these social media accounts and websites. They flagged them to the ministry for immediate action,” said Chandra, adding that the public may also report such digital media platforms and users to the ministry.

The blocking order was issued by Rule 16 of the Information Technology Rules, 2021, on Thursday.

In December, the ministry issued directions for blocking 20 YouTube Channels and two websites, operating from Pakistan under the same provisions for the first time.

The Pakistani digital media outlets blocked Apni Duniya Network and Talha Films Network, which are running 14 and 13 YouTube channels, respectively.

The propaganda or fake news being spread by these channels were related to the Indian Army, issues in Jammu and Kashmir, demise of the former Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and India’s foreign relations with other countries.

The channels had also started posting content to undermine the democratic process of the upcoming elections in five states.



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