The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has directed YouTube to block 45 YouTube videos from 10 YouTube channels. The ministry has taken the decision based on the inputs from intelligence agencies. Orders to block the concerned videos were issued on September 23 under the provisions of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021. The blocked videos had a cumulative viewership of over 1 crore 30 lakh views. Earlier this year, the ministry had announced that it had blocked 78 news channels, 560 URLs since 2021. Also Read - YouTube removes 1.7 million videos in India for violating its norms in Q3 2022
According to a statement issued by the ministry, the 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, 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. Also Read - Google doesn’t want to miss 2022 FIFA World Cup, so it has launched cross-platform features to help you get updates
The ministry claims that some of the videos blocked by the were being used to spread disinformation on issues related to the Agnipath scheme, the 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. Also Read - YouTube Music and Premium reach 80 mn paid subscribers milestone
The statement further claims that 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.
A statement by the ministry claimed 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. Accordingly, the content was covered within the ambit of section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000.
The Government of India remains committed to thwarting any attempts at undermining India’s sovereignty and integrity, national security, foreign relations, and public order.