Indian government bans YouTube channels for spreading “fake news”
The spread of false information is used to confuse and discredit online mainstream media and political opponents, but can also ignite social tension and riots. The cry of ‘fake news’ has become common nowadays, used by many countries to discredit rivals to affect their social discourse.
Recently, the government of India, that itself is in radar for propaganda against Pakistan, on Thursday banned six YouTube channels for propagating fake news and misinformation used to spread false news on social media platforms.
The banned six YouTube channels were called out by the PIB Fact Check unit. That targeted channels had nearly 20 lakh subscribers and their videos have been watched over 51 crore times.
Last year, according to the recent news, the Central Government of India have blocked 35 YouTube channels that consists of 1.20 Crore subscriber, and 130 Crore views. Apart from the YouTube accounts 2 Twitter accounts, 2 Instagram accounts, 2 Websites, and a Facebook account have also been blocked.
The joint secretary of India revealed that all the blocked accounts belonged to Pakistan and were identified to be spreading fake anti- India news and other content that malign India’s image.
In 2021, social media campaign #BoycottIndianProducts which became a trending hashtag on twitter aimed to harm India’s image internationally.Pakistani misinformation accounts were identified as the entity behind this propaganda.
History shows that India too had been involved in such social media warfare against Pakistan. In the past it has been revealed that India was engaged in running disinformation campaign with the help of private firm Srivastava Group.
In 2020, a Brussels based NGO “EUDisinfoLab” exposed an uncovered network of 265 pro-Indian sites operating across 65 countries serving Indian interests and anti Pakistan news belongs to Srivastava Group. These networks are active in Brussels and Geneva in developing and magnifying content to damage Pakistan.
Many countries are using social media as a weapon to discredit and change the public opinion of their adversaries. Both India and Pakistan become a victim of this and running misinformation propaganda against each other.