The Central government has cracked down on six YouTube channels for peddling fake news, an official release said on Thursday (12 January).
The PIB Fact Check Unit (FCU) of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has busted six YouTube channels which were working in a coordinated manner and spreading false information in India.
In six separate Twitter threads, the fact check unit released over 100 fact-checks to counter the fake news spread by these channels.
This is the second such action from the unit where entire channels have been busted, according to the ministry.
"The six YouTube channels were found to be operating as part of a coordinated disinformation network, had nearly 20 lakh subscribers and their videos have been watched over 51 crore times," the ministry said in a release.
The name of these six channels are Nation TV, Samvaad TV, Sarokar Bharat, Nation 24, Swarnim Bharat and Samvaad Samachar.
According to the ministry, these YouTube channels spread fake news about the elections, proceedings in the Supreme Court and Parliament of India, functioning of the Government of India, etc.
"Examples include false claims regarding ban on Electronic Voting Machines, and false statements attributed to senior Constitutional functionaries including the Hon’ble President of India, Hon’ble Chief Justice of India," the ministry said.
The channels are part of a fake news economy that thrives on monetization of fake news, it said.
"The channels use fake, clickbait and sensational thumbnails and images of television news anchors of TV Channels to mislead the viewers to believe that the news was authentic and drive traffic to their channels in order to monetise the videos published by them," the ministry said.
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