In a strong message to anti-India forces, at least 20 Pakistan-based YouTube channels promoting false narratives about the country were banned from all international broadcasts, at the request of the Indian government.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB), helmed by Union Minister Anurag Thakur had issued two separate orders on Monday, directing the internet service providers to block 20 news channels/portals on YouTube spreading fake news on the internet.
The banned Pakistan Youtube channels include – The Punch Line, International Web News, Khalsa TV, The Naked Truth, News24, 48 News, Fictional, Historical Facts, Punjab Viral, Naya Pakistan Global, Cover Story, Go Global eCommerce, Junaid Haleem Official, Tayyab Hanif, Zain Ali Official, Mohsin Rajput Official, Kaneez Fatima, Sadaf Durrani, Mian Imran Ahmad, and Najam Ul Hassan Bajwa.
According to the I&B Ministry, these channels and websites belong to a coordinated disinformation network operating from Pakistan and spread fake news about various sensitive subjects related to India. The channels were used to post divisive content in a coordinated manner on topics like Kashmir, Indian Army, minority communities in India, Ram Mandir, General Bipin Rawat, etc, it added.
Notably, these YouTube channels had also posted content on issues such as the farmers’ protest, protests related to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, and tried to ‘incite’ the minorities against the Government. It was also feared that these YouTube channels would be used to post content to undermine the democratic process of the upcoming elections in five states, the ministry said.