India Ordered Blocking Of 35 YouTube Channels And Websites Based In Pakistan; Here’s Why

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The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has mandated the dismantling of 35 YouTube-based news stations and two websites that were spreading misleading information about India on social media in a coordinated manner. The Ministry's YouTube accounts had a combined subscriber base of over 1 crore 20 lakh people, and their videos received over 130 crore views.

 
India strikes to Pakistani Fake News Channels

The government has also blacklisted two Twitter accounts, two Instagram accounts, and one Facebook account for its role in disseminating concerted anti-India disinformation on the internet.

The Ministry has ordered the blocking of these Pakistan-based social media accounts and websites in five different orders issued under rule 16 of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021. These social media profiles and websites were being constantly monitored by Indian intelligence agencies, and they were reported to the Ministry for prompt action.

India strikes to Pakistani Fake News Channels

Modus Operandi Of Disinformation Networks

The 35 accounts blacklisted by the Ministry were all based in Pakistan and were part of four coordinated misinformation networks, according to the Ministry. The ApniDuniya Network, which has 14 YouTube channels, and the Talha Films Network, which has 13 YouTube channels are among them. A group of four channels, as well as a group of two other channels, were discovered to be working in synchrony with one another.

All of these networks seemed to be run with the same purpose in mind: to propagate fake news to an Indian audience. The channels that formed part of a network shared hashtags and editing styles were run by regular people and promoted each other's material. Anchors from Pakistani television news networks ran some of the YouTube channels.

Content Shared By Pakistani Channels

Pakistan exploited the YouTube channels, websites, and other social media accounts prohibited by the Ministry to propagate anti-India fake news regarding important Indian issues. The Indian Army, Jammu, and Kashmir, and India's external ties with other countries are among the themes covered.

 

It was discovered that phoney news about the death of the former Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, was widely circulated on YouTube channels. These YouTube channels had also begun uploading content aimed at undermining the democratic process in five states' impending elections.

The networks broadcasted information that encouraged separatism, divided India along religious lines, and stoked enmity among Indian society's diverse segments. Such information was thought to have the capacity to inspire the audience to commit crimes, jeopardizing the country's public order.
The government's recent action follows the blocking of 20 YouTube channels and two websites in December 2021, when the emergency powers granted by the IT Rules of 2021 were first used to combat anti-India fake news networks.

In order to secure the whole information environment, intelligence agencies and the Ministry continue to collaborate closely for the nation.

The ministry secretary hoped that YouTube will ban access to the channels around the world, as it had done the previous time after the ministry ordered the removal of 20 anti-India channels. In response to questions, he stated that the role of intermediaries is "critical" in preventing the spread of fake news and misinformation on the Internet and that they should develop tools to identify and block such accounts.

Source: mib.gov.in

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