India bans these four Pakistani YouTube channels over ‘security concerns

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The Indian government on Tuesday said it had banned 22 YouTube channels, including four of Pakistani origin, for spreading “disinformation” on issues concerning national security and public order.

India’s Ministry of Information & Broadcasting said the blocked YouTube channels had over 2.5 billion viewers.

Ghulam NabiMadni, DuniyaMeryAagy, HAQEEQAT TV, and HAQEEQAT TV 2.0 are the four Pakistani YouTube channels that the Indian government blocked. Moreover, DuniyaMeryAagy’s website, Twitter account, and Facebook account have also been blocked, while Ghulam NabiMadni and HAQEEQAT TV’s Twitter accounts have only been blocked. 

The Indian government, which conjured “emergency powers” under its IT laws, stated for the first time it had blocked 18 Indian YouTube channels, with prior actions concentrating on accounts it has said run from neighboring Pakistan.

“Numerous YouTube channels were used to post bogus news on various subjects such as the Indian Armed Forces,” the Indian administration said.

The information ministry used similar emergency regimes to block 55 YouTube channels and some Twitter and Facebook accounts in December and January.

The Indian government has been utilizing the latest IT laws introduced in 2021. Most laws aim to regulate large social media firms and give the government more powers to take down content.

India has been seeking more stringent action from US tech giants, including Google and Facebook, on what it characterizes as fake information on their platforms.

In a conference in February, officials told the companies their inaction was compelling the government to order content takedowns, which attracted international criticism that authorities were concealing free expression, Reuters reported. 

Google, in that meeting, had suggested that the ministry avoid making takedown decisions public, but the officials summarily rejected the idea.

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