Based on the inputs from intelligence agencies, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has directed YouTube to block 45 YouTube videos from 10 YouTube channels.
Orders to block the concerned videos were issued on September 23, 2022, 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.
The ministry said, “The content included fake news and morphed videos spread with the intent to spread hatred among religious communities. Examples include false claims such as the Government having 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.”
Some of the videos blocked by the Ministry were being used to spread disinformation on issues related to the Agnipath scheme, the Indian Armed Forces, India’s national security apparatus, Kashmir, etc. The content was observed to be false and sensitive from the perspective of national security and India’s friendly relations with foreign States.
Certain videos depicted erroneous external boundaries of India with parts of J&K and Ladakh outside the Indian territory. The such cartographic misrepresentation was found to be detrimental to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India.
The content blocked by the Ministry was found to be detrimental to the 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.