Home News India is blocking 22 news channels on YouTube, citing national security

India is blocking 22 news channels on YouTube, citing national security

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The Indian government has announced that it has banned 22 YouTube channels, four of which are of Pakistani origin, for misinformation on issues related to national security and public order, the latest such federal measure in the country. Reuters.

The country’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said the blocked YouTube channels had a combined total of 2.6 billion viewers.

The government, which relied on the “emergency powers” of Indian information technology laws, said it had blocked 18 Indian channels for the first time on YouTube, with previous actions focusing on accounts it said it operated in neighboring Pakistan.

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“Several YouTube channels have been used to post fake news on various topics, such as the Indian Armed Forces,” the Indian government said in a statement.

In December and January, the Ministry of Information used similar emergency powers to block 55 Alphabet INC YouTube channels, as well as some Twitter and Facebook accounts.

The Indian government has used the new IT rules introduced in 2021, which were mainly aimed at regulating large social media companies and have given the government more powers to withdraw content.

India has called on US tech giants, including Google and Facebook, to take tougher action on what it describes as fake news on their platforms.

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At a meeting in February, officials told companies that their inaction had forced the government to order the removal of the content, which in turn drew international criticism that the authorities were suppressing freedom of expression.

At that meeting, Google proposed that the ministry avoid making public the withdrawal decisions, but the idea was briefly rejected by officials.

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