'Anti-India': Government blocks dozens of Pakistan-based social media accounts
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Friday said it has issued orders to block dozens of YouTube channels, social media accounts, and websites for allegedly publishing fake news and "anti-India content." The accounts include 35 YouTube channels, two Instagram accounts, two Twitter accounts, two websites, and one account on Facebook, Ministry officials said at a media briefing.
- The announcement comes two days after I&B Minister Anurag Thakur had warned of such an action.
- "I had ordered for action against them...I am happy that many big countries across the world took cognizance of it," he told reporters.
- Last month, a total of 20 Pakistan-based YouTube channels and two websites were blocked, according to the Ministry officials.
"Yesterday...Based on fresh intelligence inputs which the Ministry received, we have issued directions for blocking 35 YouTube channels, 2 Twitter accounts, 2 Instagram Accounts, 2 websites and a Facebook account," I&B Ministry Joint Secretary (P&A) Vikram Sahay said on Friday. The allegedly defamatory content included subjects such as the Indian Armed forces, Jammu and Kashmir, and the death of former CDS General Bipin Rawat.
I&B Ministry officials said all the accounts and websites were being operated from Pakistan and had a cumulative subscriber base of nearly 1.20 crore. The videos uploaded on the said accounts had a combined viewership of more than 130 crore. The accounts set to be blocked include Apni Duniya Network and Talha Films Network, according to the Ministry.
The Ministry has issued orders to the concerned social media intermediaries and Internet Service Providers through the Department of Telecom for the blocking of the contentious accounts. The action has been taken as the accounts allegedly violated five separate orders issued under Rule 16 of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules of 2021
"Now since this process has started, I am sure that more and more such channels will get blocked. Our Intelligence agencies are at work. We will look forward to your support too," I&B Ministry Secretary Apurva Chandra said at Friday's briefing.