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Govt blocks 45 videos from 10 YouTube channels for spreading fake news

The ministry of information and broadcasting blocked 45 YouTube videos from 10 channels on Monday for spreading misinformation, hate speech, and communal hatred. The Indian government has once again blocked some videos from YouTube channels for spreading false information related to the country’s national security, foreign relations, and public order.

The content of the videos included fake news and morphed videos spread with the intent to spread hatred among religious communities. The videos had over 1 crore 30 lakh views and claimed that the government had taken away the religious rights of certain communities.

However, on Monday, YouTube made an unusual exception to the block list and refused to block a video by popular vlogger Dhruv Rathi, which featured in such a block list. The presence of Rathi’s video in this list was confirmed by media reports and tweets by journalists. Rathi is known to be a pro-AAP commentator and has been accused of spreading misinformation and propaganda through his videos by his critics.

Akhilesh Sharma, a senior journalist from NDTV, tweeted and included a screenshot of the concerned video by Dhruv Rathi. The screenshot clearly showed that Rathi had included a distorted map of India in his video where parts of Kashmir were shown as part of Pakistan or ‘disputed’. Carrying such a map of India is a punishable offence. The ministry has also directed YouTube to block one video of Dhruv Rathi. Sources, however, said YouTube has not yet deleted the video of Rathi with the wrong depiction of the Indian boundary in J&K

“Based on the inputs from intelligence agencies, the ministry of information & broadcasting has directed YouTube to block 45 YouTube videos from 10 YouTube channels. Some of the videos were being used to spread disinformation on issues related to the Agnipath scheme, Indian Armed Forces, India’s national security apparatus, Kashmir, etc,” the ministry said in a statement.

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