The government on Wednesday asked YouTube to take down three channels for making false and sensational claims about various public welfare initiatives and spreading fake news. The three channels were declared as peddlers of fake news by the Press Information Bureau Fact Check Unit on Tuesday.
“The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has directed YouTube to take down the three channels Aaj Tak Live, News Headlines and Sarkari Updates,” an official source said Wednesday.
Aaj Tak Live is not associated with the India Today Group, the government had clarified.
The channels were using thumbnails and images of TV news channels and their anchors to mislead viewers into believing that the news shared by them was authentic, an official statement said on Tuesday.
“These channels were also found to be displaying advertisements on their videos, and monetising misinformation on YouTube,” it had said.
The Fact Check unit of the Press Information Bureau said these YouTube channels spread false and sensational claims about the Supreme Court of India, chief justice of India, government schemes, Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and farm loan waivers among others.
“A #YouTube channel ‘News Headlines’ with almost 10 lakh subscribers and 32 crore views has been found to be propagating #FakeNews about the Prime Minister, Supreme Court of India, Chief Justice of India, and the Election Commission of India,” the PIB Fact check handle tweeted on Wednesday
They also made claims about the government giving money to people who have opened bank accounts, Aadhaar cards, and PAN cards.
The three YouTube channels together have nearly 33 lakh subscribers and their videos have been watched over 30 crore times.
The world’s most popular video sharing platform revealed earlier this month that it had removed 5.6 million (56 lakh) videos between July and September, and that these videos had violated its community guidelines.
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