Govt: 94 YouTube channels, 19 social media accounts blocked in 2021-22

Govt: 94 YouTube channels, 19 social media accounts blocked in 2021-22

India News

The government on Thursday informed Parliament it has blocked 94 YouTube channels, 19 social media accounts and 747 uniform resource locators (URLs) in 2021-22 for spreading fake news.

Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur, while responding to a question in the Rajya Sabha, said these actions had been taken under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

The government has strongly acted against agencies working against the sovereignty of the country by spreading fake news and spreading propaganda on the Internet, he said.

Thakur said in order to check the spread of Covid-19-related fake news, a dedicated cell of the fact-checking unit of the Press Information Bureau (PIB) was created on March 31, 2020, to which people can refer information related to Covid for verification.
The unit has responded to 34,125 actionable queries, Thakur said, adding that the PIB had also busted fake news and 875 posts thereof on its social media platforms.

In another reply to a question, Thakur said the government spent Rs 911.17 crore on advertisements in newspapers, television channels and web portals in the past three years.

He said that the advertisements were paid for by the Central Bureau of Communications from financial year 2019-20 till June 2022.

The government spent Rs 295.05 crore on advertisements in 5,326 newspapers in 2019-20, Rs 197.49 crore in 5,210 newspapers in 2020-21, Rs 179.04 crore in 6,224 newspapers in 2021-22 and Rs 19.25 crore in 1,529 newspapers in 2022-23 (till June), Thakur said. During the same period, the government had spent Rs 98.69 crore on advertisements in 270 TV channels in 2019-20, Rs 69.81 crore in 318 TV channels in 2020-21, Rs 29.3 crore in 265 news channels in 2021-22 and Rs 1.96 crore in 99 TV channels in 2022-23 (till June), Thakur added.

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