Union minister Anurag Thakur said on Thursday that 104 YouTube channels, 45 videos, four Facebook accounts, three Instagram accounts, five Twitter accounts and six websites have been blocked for spreading misinformation and threatening national security.

Responding to questions in the Rajya Sabha, Thakur said Section 69A of the Information Technology Act provides for blocking of content on digital media in the interest of India’s sovereignty or integrity, India’s defence, national security, friendly relations with foreign countries or for public order or to prevent the incitement to the commission of any established offense related to the above.

He said that under the provisions of Part-II of the IT Rules, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has issued directions to block 1,643 user-generated URLs, including web pages, websites, posts and accounts on social media platforms. media from 2021 to October 2022.

“The government has taken action under these rules and if required, we will not hesitate to take such action in future,” Thakur said.

Meanwhile, the government on Wednesday asked YouTube to take down three channels for making false and sensational claims about various public welfare initiatives and spreading fake news. The three channels were declared fake news purveyors by the fact-checking unit of the Information Bureau on Tuesday.

“The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has directed YouTube to take down the three channels Aaj Tak Live, News Headlines and Sarkari Updates,” an official source said on Wednesday.

Aaj Tak Live is not affiliated with India Today Group, the government has clarified.

The channels used thumbnails and images of TV news channels and their anchors to mislead viewers into believing that the news they shared was authentic, an official statement said on Tuesday.

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