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Government bans 22 YouTube channels for propagating fake information

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The Indian government on 5th April stated that it has banned 22 YouTube channels on the grounds of spreading misinformation and threatening the country’s sovereignty and national security. Of the 22 banned YouTube channels 18 were Indian and the remaining 4 were of Pakistani origin. Adding to the tally 3 Twitter accounts, a Facebook account and a news website related to these channels were also banned.

The Indian government had introduced new IT laws in 2021 which were mostly aimed at regulating large social media firms and gave the government more powers to take down digital content. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, utilized ’emergency powers’ under India’s IT Laws, 2021 to ban the aforementioned channels and websites as they were claimed to be under Pakistani influence.

The blocked channels used pictures of Indian television anchors and logos of news channels on their YouTube thumbnails to appear legitimate and gain views, the ministry said in a statement. The channels had an aggregate viewership of 2.1 billion. The channels were spreading fake information regarding the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine and the Indian armed forces.

A statement from the Indian government said “The Government of India remains committed to ensuring an authentic, trustworthy, and safe online news media environment, and thwart any attempts at undermining India’s sovereignty and integrity, national security, foreign relations, and public order ”.

The full list of the banned channels is given below :-

Indian YouTube channels

1. ARP News
2. AOP News
3. LDC News
4. SarkariBabu
5. SS ZONE Hindi
6. Smart News
7. News23Hindi
8. Online Khabar
9. DP news
10. PKB News
11. KisanTak
12. Borana News
13. Sarkari News Update
14. Bharat Mausam
15. RJ ZONE 6
16. Exam Report
17. Digi Gurukul
18. DinbharKiKhabar

Pakistan-based YouTube channels

1. DuniyaMeryAagy
2. Ghulam NabiMadni

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