The Indian government said yesterday that it has blocked since 2021 120 YouTube news channels for breaching various regulatory norms.
“Government has since December 2021 issued directions for blocking of 120 YouTube based news channels, including 69 operating from outside India, in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India and other conditions laid down under section 69 A of IT Act, 2000,” Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur informed Rajya Sabha yesterday.
Thakur said that the government addresses fake news in accordance with the existing laid down laws and procedures.
The Minister was responding to a query from a fellow parliamentarian in Rajya Sabha or Upper House on the number of cases that have come to the notice of the government relating to the spread of fake news and whether there was any law against fake news in the country.
Enumerating the various instruments for combating fake news, Thakur said these include fact checking by a unit in the Press Information Bureau under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, which takes suo moto cognicance of news to debunk the fake ones.
Apart from that, he elaborated, there was the Press Council of India (PCI), a statutory autonomous body set up under the Press Council Act, 1978, that oversees the print medium, while all TV channels were required to adhere to the Programme Code laid down under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, including that programmes should not contain anything obscene, defamatory, deliberate, false and suggestive innuendos and half-truths.