Based on the inputs from intelligence agencies, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has directed YouTube to block 45 YouTube videos from 10 YouTube channels. Orders to block the concerned videos were issued on 23rd September, under the provisions of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021. The blocked videos had a total of over 1 crore 30 lakh views.
The videos’ content included fake news and morphed videos, uploaded with the intent to spread hatred among religious communities. Examples include false claims such as the government to have taken away the religious rights of certain communities, violent threats against religious communities, declaration of civil war in India, etc. Such videos were found to have the potential to cause communal disharmony and disrupt public order in the country.
Some of the videos blocked by the ministry were being used to spread disinformation on issues related to the Agnipath scheme, Indian Armed Forces, India’s national security apparatus, Kashmir, etc. The content was observed to be false and sensitive from the perspective of national security and India’s friendly relations with foreign States.
Certain videos depicted erroneous external boundary 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.
Speaking on the issue, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Anurag Thakur said that the content blocked by the ministry was found to be detrimental to the sovereignty and integrity of India, security of the State, India’s friendly relations with foreign States, and public order in the country. The Minister further said that the Government of India remains committed to thwart any attempts at undermining India’s sovereignty and integrity, national security, foreign relations, and public order.