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What are the 22 YouTube Channels Recently Blocked By India?

Still, YouTube and other social platforms miss a lot of things. So the government has to take matters into its own hands.

What are the 22 YouTube Channels Recently Blocked By India?

Social media platforms – especially YouTube – are great sources of information. The Google-owned video-sharing platform is the second largest search engine in the world, after all. It has millions and millions of users, some of which are experts in certain fields. And they use their channels to impart knowledge to their viewers.

The pandemic has emphasized that. When the world froze, and the schools closed, YouTube was one of the educators’ best tools. It allowed the students to learn things without leaving their homes.   

Unfortunately, not all information you can find on these platforms is credible. Some people use their reach to spread misinformation intentionally.

Unsuspecting people will then find this dangerous content and then believe what they hear in them. Then, they will share the videos with their friends, who will share them with their family and friends. Effectively, that puts false information on the trending topics.

When there’s an unhealthy number of people believing in fake news, it is not easy to convince them it is not true. And that is the problem.

That would not be a problem if people researched more about a topic before believing a statement. Sadly, that is not the case. And therefore, fighting misinformation is one of social media platforms’ toughest battles.

However, what these platforms do is sometimes not enough. So, the government has to step up. Legislators are pressuring them to put more effort into eradicating misinformation on their networks. More so after what happened in the US Capitol in January last year.

Still, YouTube and other social platforms miss a lot of things. So the government has to take matters into its own hands. In India, they introduced the “IT Rules, 2021.” 

Under these rules, the company banned a total of 22 YOuTube channels.

Why Did India Ban 22 YouTube Channels?

Last year, India introduced IT rules, which allowed the government to regulate large social media websites like YouTube. That enables the government to take down content – a power usually reserved for the social media company.

In April, the Indian government banned 22 YouTube “new” channels. New Delhi said these channels are “spreading disinformation on subjects concerning the national security and public order.”

The Indian government says that the said channels attempt to use templates and logos from credible news outlets. That’s a ploy to appear legitimate. But they use misleading titles and thumbnails to gain views and spread misinformation. They caught the Indian government’s attention because they delved into topics about the Indian armed forces and what was happening in Ukraine.

Furthermore, some of the blocked channels also contained anti-India content. Most of these channels are based in Pakistan. Meanwhile, Indian channels post content aiming to jeopardize the country’s foreign relations. They are the ones posting fake news about the situation in Ukraine.

According to India’s Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, the combined number of viewers of the said channels is 2.6 billion. That’s a dangerous number of people who consume falsehoods. It’s still unclear how many of this significant sum is real people and how many were bought YouTube views and subscribers. Even though we’re well into 2023, buying real YouTube views is still seen as a common marketing tactic and a major component of most corporate and political YouTube channels of any significance.

It is not the first time India exercised emergency powers under the newfound IT Rules. However, it is the first time that the majority of the channels they blocked are from India. In past cases, most of them operated from Pakistan.

What are the 22 YouTube Channels Recently Blocked By India?

The Indian-based channels are 22, outnumbering the mere 4 Pakistani channels.

What are the Channels India has Blocked?

The biggest India-based channel India blocked last April is called ARP News. It has 44 million subscribers. Next is AOP News, with 1.4 million subscribers. Then comes LDC News, with 472,000 subscribers.

The other blocked YouTube channels operating in India are the following:

  • SarkariBabu – 44 million views
  • SS Zone Hindi – 52 million views
  • Smart News – 130 million views
  • News32Hindi – 187 million views
  • Online Khabar – 41 million views
  • DP News – 1 million views
  • PKB News – 29 million views
  • KisanTak – 3.6 million views
  • Borana News – 24 million views
  •  Sarkari News Update – 20 million views
  • Bharat Mausam – 70 million views
  • RJ Zone 6 – 124 million views
  • Exam Report – 34 million views
  • Digi Gurukul – 109 million views
  • दिनभरकीखबरें – 2 million views

Meanwhile, among the Pakistan-based YouTube channels that India blocked last April was DuniyaMeryAagy. It has 428,000 subscribers and 112 million views.

Also included is Ghulam NabiMadni, with 3 million views. The channel HAQEEQAT TV, which has 4 million subscribers, also got hit by the banhammer. A related channel with 37 million views, HAQEEQAT TV 2.0, also got banned.

Other Banned Social Media Accounts

Aside from these 12 YouTube channels, India blocked accounts from other social media. It blocked three Twitter accounts and 1 Facebook account. It also blocked a full news website.

The banned Twitter accounts include handles associated with the mentioned Pakistani YouTube channels. These accounts are ‘Ghulam Nabi Madni,’ ‘Haqeeqat TV,’ and ‘Duniya Mery Aagy.’ The banned Facebook page and news website were also owned by the latter.

Total of Banned Accounts and Channels in India Under the IT Rules

As mentioned above, it is not the first time India used the emergency powers provided by the IT Rules. In December and January, India used the emergency powers to block 55 channels on YouTube.

That brings the total of social media accounts India has blocked to 78. 

Reuters reports that India is telling tech giants to act more proactively in fighting misinformation. In a meeting last February, the government said the companies’ inaction forces them to order takedowns.

However, that statement opened another can of worms. It drew international criticism that authorities in India are suppressing free expression. And as we know, social media platforms pride themselves as “champions of free speech.”

What are the 22 YouTube Channels Recently Blocked By India?

Google – the owner of YouTube – suggested that India make takedown decisions not public. However, the government official rejected that quickly.

With these complications in mind, we can say that a social media platform free of misinformation is still just a dream. So before you believe what a YouTube video tells you, it is best to do some research.


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