India has banned 22 YouTube news channels for spreading propaganda on topics related to national security and public order. New Delhi said the banned YouTube channels have a total of 2.6 billion viewers.
The channels, four of which were from Pakistan and the rest from India, tried to use similar templates and logos to those used by credible news channels, the government said. The video used misleading thumbnails and captions to garner views and spread disinformation on a range of topics, including the current “situation” in the Indian military and Ukraine.
The ministry has activated emergency powers in accordance with the new 2021 IT Regulations, the report said. The government first exercised this right late last year when it blocked 20 channels. The government said it had blocked 78 YouTube channels and some Facebook and Twitter social media accounts since December.
“Several YouTube channels have been used to post fake news on various topics such as the Indian military, Jammu and Kashmir, etc.,” the ministry said in a statement.
“The content to be blocked also includes some anti-India content posted from multiple social media accounts agreed with Pakistan. A large amount of fake content published by these Indian YouTube channels has been found to be related to the current situation in Ukraine and is intended to jeopardize India’s foreign relations with other countries.
Last year, India introduced new IT regulations that give it greater control over content on social media platforms. The rules require social media companies to be more oversight, which has prompted many companies to fight back. These rules came into force in the middle of last year.