The Information & Broadcasting ministry secretary, Apurva Chandra, said the ministry has taken down 35 YouTube channels for spreading fake news & anti-national content.

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry in a press meet said it has brought down 35 YouTube channels for spreading fake news against India on YouTube.

The ministry said it had received inputs against 35 YouTube accounts, 2 Twitter accounts, 2 Instagram accounts, 2 sites, and 1 Facebook account. The accounts were being active from Pakistan & spreading anti-national & fake news with no basis.

The accounts were spreading fake news on several issues, including the death of General Bipin Rawat, foreign relations, military action, etc.

“The contest is absolutely fake and toxic like the government is responsible for Bipin Rawat’s death, Bipin Rawat’s daughter is accepting Islam, North Korean army is going to Kashmir etc. What sort of nonsense is this! And these YouTube accounts had a total subscriber base of over 1.20 crore. These videos had 130 crore views, which is almost the population of India. Our intelligence agencies are now alive to the situation and more such news channels on YouTube will get blocked”

Role of intermediaries in curbing fake news

The Ministry also emphasized the role of social media intermediaries in curbing such handles.

This is not the first time the Union government has expressed concerns with social media companies not curbing such channels. Earlier, they encountered such a spat with the micro-blogging site Twitter.

“This is also the responsibility of the intermediaries. YouTube should also see that these are absolutely fake news,” the secretary said, adding that they have done the blocking taking recourse to the emergency provision.

“Being an intermediary, you can’t allow such channels. There has to be some amount of truth and research. The only truth in the fake news spread about Bipin Rawat’s death is that Bipin Rawat’s helicopter crashed,” the secretary said. 

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