Press Trust of india

Govt blocks 45 videos on 10 YouTube channels: Thakur

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New Delhi: Government has ordered the blocking of 45 videos from 10 YouTube channels that contained fake news and morphed content with the intent to spread hatred amongst religious communities, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said on Monday.

The blocked videos had a cumulative viewership of over 1.30 crore and claimed that the government had taken away the religious rights of certain communities, an official statement said.

“These channels had content that spread fear and misconception among communities,” Thakur said.

An official statement said the blocked content included fake news and morphed videos spread with the intent to spread hatred among religious communities.

Examples include false claims such as the government has taken away the religious rights of certain communities, violent threats against religious communities and a declaration of civil war in India, the ministry said.

The ministry said the action was taken on the inputs from intelligence agencies.

“Some of the videos blocked by the Ministry were being used to spread disinformation on issues related to Agnipath scheme, Indian Armed Forces, India’s national security apparatus, Kashmir,” it said.

The content was observed to be false and sensitive from the perspective of national security and India’s friendly relations with foreign nations, it added.

“Such videos were found to have the potential to cause communal disharmony and disrupt public order in the country,” the ministry said.

The order to block the videos was issued on September 23 under the provisions of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021, the statement said.

Earlier, the government had blocked 102 YouTube channels and Facebook accounts that sought to create communal disharmony, Thakur said.

The ministry said certain videos depicted erroneous external boundaries of India with 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, the I&B ministry said.

Accordingly, the content was covered within the ambit of section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

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