Centre blocks 22 YouTube channels, multiple social media accounts

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Months after it blocked 35 YouTube-based news channels and two websites, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has now ordered blocking of 22 YouTube-based news channels and multiple social media accounts.

“The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, utilizing the emergency powers under the IT Rules, 2021, has issued orders on 04.04.2022 for blocking of twenty-two (22) YouTube based news channels, three (3) Twitter accounts, one (1) Facebook account, and one (1) news website,” the I&B Ministry said in an official release. 

It further said that the blocked YouTube channels had a cumulative viewership of more than 260 crore, and were used to spread fake news, and coordinated disinformation over social media on “subjects sensitive from the perspective of national security, India’s foreign relations, and public order”.

“This is the first time action has been taken on the Indian YouTube based news publishers since the notification of the IT Rules, 2021 in February last year. Through the recent blocking order, eighteen (18) Indian and four (4) Pakistan based YouTube news channels have been blocked,” it added.

With this action, since December 2021, the Ministry has issued directions for blocking of 78 YouTube-based news channels and several other social media accounts on grounds related to national security, sovereignty and integrity of India, public order, etc.

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