New Delhi | Jagran Technology Desk: The government said on Friday that based on fresh intelligence inputs, it has issued directions to ban 35 YouTube channels, 2 Twitter accounts, 2 Instagram accounts, 2 websites and a Facebook account. "The common factor amongst all these accounts have been that they operate from Pakistan and spread fake anti-India news and other content," Vikram Sahay, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

A similar action was taken by the government in December last year when 20 YouTube channels were blocked for posting 'anti-India' content.

"The popularity of the channels is visible through the fact that they had a total of 1.2 crore subscribers and over 130 crore views. Of course, it (blocking) is a very difficult task but the ministry is trying its best to ensure that anti-India content can be curtailed," Joint Secretary Vikram Sahay added.

"The 35 accounts blocked by the Ministry were all operating from Pakistan, and were identified to be part of four coordinated disinformation networks," the I&B Ministry added in a written statement.

Furthermore, Apurv Chandra, Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, stressed that war of misinformation against the country is toxic and attacks the sovereignty and integrity of the country. Detailing upon content that was being run on the now-banned channels, Chandra said, "One of fake content was that Bipin Rawat was assassinated and NSA Ajit Doval was behind the crash."

"Another misinformation campaign said one of Rawat's daughters is going to accept Islam following her father's assassination," he added.

Earlier in December, 2021, following the intelligence inputs, the Central government had blocked 20 YouTube channels and two websites operating from Pakistan. 

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In December 2021, it was for the first time that the government of India had invoked the emergency powers under the new intermediary guidelines and digital media ethics code in the Information Technology Act, 2020.

Posted By: Mukul Sharma