The Indian government has blocked from public access125 YouTube news channels since 2021 in the interest of the country’s sovereignty and other reasons.
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur told Rajya Sabha (Upper House) on February 8, a day before the Parliament adjourned for its next sitting sometime early June, that his Ministry, since December 2021, had issued “directions for blocking from public access” 125 YouTube based news channels under the provisions of the IT Rules, 2021.
The reason for blocking: publishing content not found to be in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States or public order or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence and fake news.
Thakur was asked by a parliamentary colleague whether the government had blocked YouTube channels in the country and the reasons behind the move.
The Minister also said that the government had notified the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rule, 2021 (IT Rules, 2021) under Information Technology Act, which provides for adherence of Code of Ethics by publishers of news and current affairs on digital media and publishers of online curated content and a three tier grievance redressal mechanism for addressing grievances relating to violation of the Code.