The Indian government on Monday ordered the banning of 10 YouTube channels for hateful speech against religious communities in an attempt to spread communal disharmony in the country.
As per the inputs available from the intelligence agencies acting on their advice 45 videos from 10 YouTube channels have been blocked by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, said the I-B ministry.
"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," officials said.
The ministry further claimed that the content in these videos included fake news fake videos with the intent to create communal disharmony in the country.
"Government is Said 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," officials said.
The videos that have been blocked include disinformation about the Agnipath scheme, the Indian Armed Forces, India's national security apparatus, Kashmir, etc. Certain videos depicted erroneous external boundaries of India with parts of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh outside the Indian territory.
"The content blocked by the Ministry was found to be detrimental to 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 thwart any attempts at undermining India's sovereignty and integrity, national security, foreign relations, and public order," officials said on the ban.
Union Information And broadcasting Minister Anurag Singh Thakur took to Twitter and said, "The Ministry has banned and suspended 10 YouTube channels for attempting to sabotage ties with friendly countries through misinformation, spewing venom against the country. It has been done before in the interest of the nation, will do it in future also."
This is not the first time that the Union Government has put a ban on anti-India content. So far 102 YouTube channels four Facebook pages, five Twitter accounts and three Instagram accounts have also been blocked for spreading hate contact against India.
(With Inputs from ANI)