YouTube pulls down channels charged with propagating fake news

A day after the government urged YouTube to remove three channels for promoting fake news, it claimed the streaming giant has taken them down.

On Wednesday, the I&B Ministry had asked YouTube to take down Aaj Tak Live, News Headlines and Sarkari Updates, in view of them being declared by the Press Information Bureau’s (PIB) Fact Check Unit as peddlers of fake news.

The three channels were warned for propagating bogus news pertaining to the government, its numerous initiatives and even concerning the Election Commission. The channels had roughly 33 lakh subscribers, and logged over 30 crore views, the administration had said. While News Headlines has 9.67 lakh regular subscribers, Sarkari Update and Aaj Tak Live have 22.6 lakh and over 65,000 subscribers, respectively.

“The YouTube channels were observed to be using fake and sensational thumbnails with logos of TV channels and images of their news anchors to mislead the viewers to believe that the news was authentic,” the I&B Ministry had said, adding that these channels were also found to be displaying advertisements on their videos, thus monetising misinformation.

Meanwhile, Union I&B Minister Anurag Thakur informed the Rajya Sabha on Thursday that the government blocked 104 YouTube channels and 45 YouTube videos for giving “false” and “misleading” material that could lead to rumours or fear-mongering. He was responding to a question on the propagation of “fake news” propagating through digital channels presented by BJP MP Jugalsinh Lokhandwala. “We have taken action against the channels that have attempted to mislead and create fear and divisions in society under Section 69A of the IT Act,” Thakur added.

The minister said that, “We have also blocked four Facebook profiles and two postings, three accounts on Instagram, five Twitter accounts, and three podcasts…”


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Hi, my name is Nisha and I'm an educational journalist based in India. I've always been passionate about the power of education to transform lives, and that's what led me to pursue a career in journalism focused on this area. I completed my Bachelor's degree in English from Hindu College in Delhi in 2013 and then went on to earn my Master's in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in 2017. During my studies, I also completed several short-term courses on Education in India, Sociology, and other related subjects to deepen my knowledge in this field. I'm particularly interested in improving access to quality education in rural areas, where students often face significant challenges. I've worked on a number of initiatives to address this issue, including advocating for better policies, resources, and practices that can make a difference. As an educational journalist, I'm passionate about using my platform to highlight important issues in the education space. I've covered a wide range of topics, including the impact of technology in the classroom, innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and the challenges facing students from marginalized communities. One of the things I love most about my work is the opportunity to constantly learn and grow. I'm an avid reader and believe that reading is key to expanding one's knowledge and perspective. I'm always seeking out new ideas and insights to help me better understand the world around me. In summary, as an educational journalist, I'm dedicated to using my skills and expertise to make a positive impact in the field of education. I'm committed to improving access to quality education for all students and to using my platform to raise awareness about important issues in this area.

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