New Delhi, January 22:
The Centre has recently blocked 35 YouTube channels, 2 Twitter accounts, 2 Instagram accounts, 2 websites and a Facebook account. The government last month, blocked 20 YouTube channels and 2 websites in a closely coordinated effort between intelligence agencies and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
The channels and websites were spreading anti-India propaganda and fake news on the internet. Speaking about the move, Vikram Sahay, Joint Secretary (P&A), Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said, "The common factor amongst all these accounts have been that they operate from Pakistan and spread fake anti-India news and other content."
The channels and websites belonged to a coordinated disinformation network operating from Pakistan, and spreading fake news about several sensitive subjects related to India. The channels were used to post divisive content in a coordinated manner on topics like Kashmir, Indian Army, minority communities in India, Ram Mandir, General Bipin Rawat, etc.
One of the groups identified on YouTube was 'Naya Pakistan'. The channels had a combined subscriber base of over 35 lakh, and their videos had over 55 crore views.
All these networks were operating with a single goal of spreading fake news, oriented towards Indian audience. The channels which were part of a network used common hashtags and editing styles, were being operated by common people, and cross promoted each other’s content. A few of the channels were being operated by anchors of Pakistani TV news channels.