The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has directed YouTube to remove 45 videos from its 10 channels. “The orders to block the videos were issued on September 23, 2022, under the provisions of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021,” officials said, adding that the blocked videos had a cumulative views of over 1.30 crore.
The videos that have been taken down include 13 from a YouTube channel called The Live TV, nine from Hind Voice, six each from Inqilab Live and Desh India Live, four from Mr Reaction Wala, two each from GetsetflyFACT and 4PM, and one each from the channels of National Adda, Dhruv Rathee and Vinay Pratap Singh Bhopar.
Officials said the content included “fake news and morphed videos aimed at spreading hatred among religious communities”. Examples include false claims such as the government of India having taken away the religious rights of certain communities, violent threats against religious communities, and declaration of civil war in India, officials said.
Commenting on the move, Union I&B Minister Anurag Singh Thakur said, “These channels were found to have been involved in the conspiracy to spread hatred in the country, and the content is detrimental to India’s friendly relation with foreign states. This is a continuous process and action will be taken against all such sites and channels in the future as well.”
The videos were found to have the potential to cause communal disharmony and disrupt public order in the country, and the action was taken based on inputs from intelligence agencies, officials added.
Some of the videos blocked by the ministry were being used to spread disinformation on issues related to the Agnipath scheme, the armed forces, national security apparatus and Kashmir, said a statement by the ministry. “Some of the videos even depicted parts of J&K and Ladakh outside the Indian territory. Such cartographic misrepresentation was found to be detrimental to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India,” it said.