The Press Information Bureau's (PIB) Fact Check Unit (FCU) has busted six YouTube channels, which as per FCU were working in a coordinated manner and spreading false information in India.
As per a statement by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Tuesday, the FCU released six separate Twitter threads containing over 100 fact-checks to counter the fake news spread by these channels.
The YouTube channels - namely ‘National TV’, ‘Samvaad TV’, ‘Sarokar Bharat’, ‘Nation 24’, ‘Swarnim Bharat’ and ‘Samvaad Samachar’ - were found to be operating as part of a coordinated disinformation network. They had nearly 20 lakh subscribers and their videos have been watched over 51 crore times.
The YouTube channels exposed by the PIB Fact Check unit spread fake news about the elections, proceedings in the Supreme Court and Parliament of India, functioning of the Government of India, etc. Examples include false claims regarding ban on Electronic Voting Machines, and false statements attributed to senior Constitutional functionaries including the President of India, Chief Justice of India, as per the Ministry.
The channels are a part of a fake news economy that thrives on monetisation of fake news, the ministry said.
The channels used fake, clickbait and sensational thumbnails and images of television news anchors of TV Channels to mislead the viewers to believe that the news was authentic and drive traffic to their channels in order to monetise the videos published by them, the ministry added.
This is the second such action by PIB's FCU in quick succession. In December 2022, the unit had exposed three channels serving fake news.