New Delhi: The proliferation of misinformation and fake news on YouTube has raised significant concerns, prompting a decisive move from the government.
In an effort to curb the dissemination of false information, India has imposed a ban on a total of eight YouTube channels, collectively amassing a staggering 23 million subscribers. These channels have been identified by the government as culprits for spreading misleading and fabricated news.
During the recent Nuh violence incident, the state government had to resort to shutting down internet services in the district to prevent the inflow of misinformation and incendiary messages. This incident underscored the grave repercussions of unchecked misinformation.
Unveiling the Ban: Channels Involved in Spreading Misinformation
According to a PTI report, the banned YouTube channels were engaged in broadcasting false news items, including premature declarations of Lok Sabha elections and allegations of tampering with electronic voting machines. These channels, with a substantial viewership, posed a significant risk of amplifying inaccurate information to a wider audience.
‘𝐄𝐝𝐮𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐃𝐨𝐬𝐭’ नामक एक #YouTube चैनल पर भारत सरकार की विभिन्न योजनाओं और फैसलों से संबंधित फ़र्ज़ी खबरें फैलाई जा रही हैं
— PIB Fact Check (@PIBFactCheck) August 8, 2023
In an effort to verify the accuracy of the content, the Press Information Bureau (PIB) undertook fact-checking of the videos aired on these channels. The following is the list of the banned channels:
- Yahan Sach Dekho
- Capital TV
- KPS News
- Sarkari Vlog
- Earn Tech India
- SPN9 News
- Educational Dost
- World Best News
The channel ‘World Best News’, boasting a staggering 1.7 million subscribers and over 180 million views, was found to have misrepresented facts about the Indian Army, officials revealed. Meanwhile, ‘Educational Dost,’ with its vast subscriber base of 3.43 million and 230 million views, was found guilty of disseminating false information about government schemes.
The channel ‘SPN9 News’, with over 4.8 million subscribers and a staggering 1.89 billion views, was responsible for propagating fabricated news related to the president, prime minister, and several central ministers. Similarly, ‘Sarkari Vlog,’ with its 4.5 million subscribers and over 94 million views, was caught spreading deceptive news about government initiatives.
Channels ‘KPS News’, ‘Capital TV’, ‘Yahan Sach Dekho’, and ‘Earn India Tech’ were all implicated in disseminating misleading information, with topics ranging from government schemes to significant policy decisions. Their collective reach and viewership highlighted the urgent need for regulatory measures to counteract the rampant spread of false news.
This move by the government seeks to not only safeguard the public from misinformation but also underscores the need for responsible content dissemination on digital platforms like YouTube.