New Delhi, Jan 21 (EFE).- India on Friday announced that it would block 35 news channels on Youtube and two websites operated from Pakistan for publishing “fake news about sensitive subjects related to India.
Several handles on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook were also blocked for contributing to this “fake propaganda.”
“The Ministry has ordered to block these Pakistan based social media accounts and websites. Indian intelligence agencies were closely monitoring these social media accounts and websites, and flagged them to the Ministry for immediate action,” the information and broadcasting ministry said in a statement.
The ministry stressed that these accounts were “operating from Pakistan” and included those of Pakistani TV news anchors.
It added that the channels were part of four “coordinated disinformation networks” and were being operated “with a single goal of spreading fake news oriented towards the Indian audience.”
In total, these channels had over 12 million subscribes and had registered over 1.3 billion hits on their videos, which included content that had “potential to incite the audience into commission of crimes adversely affecting public order in the country,” the Indian ministry said.
It alleged that some of the videos were aimed at promoting separatism, dividing India on the basis of religion and creating animosity between different sections of the Indian society, in connection with the Jammu and Kashmir region – disputed with Pakistan – and foreign relations with other countries.
“These YouTube channels had also started posting content to undermine the democratic process of the upcoming elections in five states” of Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the statement added.
Indian authorities had already blocked 20 Youtube accounts and two websites in December citing similar reasons.
Earlier, in 2020, the government had blocked 118 Chinese apps, accused of stealing and transmitting “sensitive” user data in an unauthorized manner to servers located outside India. EFE