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Centre bans over 150 ‘anti-India’ YouTube news channels and websites



Technology

Centre bans over 150 ‘anti-India’ YouTube news channels and websites

June 12, 2023 | 08:28 pm
2 min read


The websites and news channels were banned for posting content against India

The Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has removed more than 150 websites and YouTube-based news channels since May 2021.

The websites and news channels were removed on the grounds of violating Section 69A of the Information Technology (IT) Act and for posting content that classifies as “anti-India,” as per a senior official from MIB.

Which news channels on YouTube were taken down?

The list of news channels on YouTube that were taken down by the Centre includes Khabar with Facts, Information Hub, Flash Now, Khabar Taiz, Mera Pakistan, Apni Dunya TV, and Hakikat Ki Duniya, among others.

In total, the now-removed channels reportedly had a subscriber count of over 12 million and recorded more than 1.3 billion views.

What does Section 69A of the IT Act specify?

Per Section 69A of the IT Act, the government can direct any government agency or intermediary to block content that may threaten the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the state, and public order.

The content must also not violate friendly relations with foreign states or incite people to commit a cognizable offense.

What happens if a body doesn’t follow the government’s directives?

The sub-section (1) of the act mentions that any intermediary who fails to comply with the direction issued by the government will be liable to a fine and will also face imprisonment for a period that may extend to seven years.

78 YouTube-based news channels were blocked in July last year

Last year in July, Anurag Thakur, Minister of Information and Broadcasting, revealed that 560 YouTube links and 78 YouTube-based news channels were blocked from access due to violations between 2021 and 2022.

In January 2022, the government blocked 35 Pakistan-based YouTube channels and two websites on the grounds of “spreading anti-India fake news in a coordinated manner over digital media,” per reports.

Ministry has been issuing orders to remove channels spreading misinformation

The I&B ministry has regularly been issuing orders to take down YouTube channels that spread misinformation and threaten the country’s sovereignty as per the new IT rules implemented on February 25, 2021.


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