Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Anurag Thakur, said on Thursday (July 21) that the ministry would take intense action against YouTube channels working against the country’s interests by spreading fake news and propaganda on the Internet.
While responding to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Thakur said the ministry would strongly act against the 94 YouTube channels, 19 social media accounts and 747 URLs spreading fake news and propaganda on the Internet and got them blocked as reported by the Hindustan Times.
He added that the government would act rigidly against agencies working against the country’s integrity and sovereignty. The Press Information Bureau (PIB) has also busted fake news and 875 posts on its social media platforms, and these actions are taken under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act.
What Initiatives Did Government Take?
To check the COVID-related fake news, he said a dedicated cell of the fact-checking unit of the PIB was created on March 31, 2020, to which people can verify information related to COVID-19. The team has responded to 34,125 actionable queries related to COVID-19, as reported by The Indian Express.
Further, other initiatives undertaken by the ministry include a crackdown on digital channels, portals, and social media handles running an anti-India agenda by spreading fake news. It began in December when the ministry issued directions for blocking 20 YouTube Channels and two websites operating from Pakistan.
Arrest Of Alt News Co-Founder
Replying to opposition on the cases against Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair, the minister said it is essential to differentiate between a fact-checker and those who try to spread false information under the garb of fact-checking.
Anurag Thakur asked the ministers to outline the Modus Operandi to deal with those who spread hatred and animosity using their comments on social media based on which action will be taken, Suo Motu, against media outlets.
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