Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur on Thursday informed parliament that in 2021-22, the ministry had cracked down on YouTube channels working against the interests of the country.
Responding to a question at Rajya Sabha, Thakur said the ministry took action against 94 YouTube channels, 19 social media accounts and 747 URLs and blocked them. These actions were taken under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act 2000, he said. The minister further said that the government has acted strongly against agencies working against the sovereignty of the country by spreading fake news and spreading propaganda on the internet. “Those (members of the opposition) who stand here (in the Well of the House) do not raise their voices against elements working against the interest of the country.
But we have taken action against them,” he said, blaming opposition MPs who were protesting the Law Enforcement Directorate’s summons against Congresswoman Sonia Gandhi in the case. from the National Herald. Question Time was held amid vehement protests and I&B Minister Anurag Thakur accused the opposition of not voicing their concerns at the GST Board meeting over essential commodities and disrupting the Parliament.
The Upper House was marred by two adjournments of the pre-lunch sitting and finally adjourned for the day shortly after the lunch break. Circumscribing the opposition, Thakur said, “They (non-BJP state government representatives) come to the TSG Council meeting and don’t voice their concerns, but come here to protest and show placards. ” He said this while answering additional questions about whether the government is taking action against false propaganda spread on social media as well as by some elected officials. The Upper House was marred by two adjournments of the pre-lunch sitting and finally adjourned for the day shortly after the lunch break. Without naming anyone, Thakur also criticized some opposition leaders for creating doubts among the public regarding Covid vaccines and the Agnipath program.
He said that despite this, 200 million doses of vaccine have already been administered. Thakur also said some elected and former public officials are engaged in confusion over GST on essential items, Covid vaccination and the Agnipath program for recruitment into the armed forces. Responding to Opposition over cases against Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair, the minister said it was important to differentiate between a fact checker and those trying to sow enmity under the guise of fact checking.
“It is important to understand who is a fact checker and who is trying to sow enmity in society in the name of fact checking. If a complaint is registered against them, then measures are taken in accordance with the rule of law. He said this in response to a question from Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP Manoj Kumar Jha. He had asked the Minister to outline the procedure for dealing with those who spread hatred and animosity through their comments. “I would like to ask the modus operandi of those who spread hatred and animosity using their comments where little or no action is taken against them.
As action is being taken against fact checkers and we have seen that recently,” Jha said. This was in apparent reference to the Zubair case.
Thakur said that just like the Press Council of India (PCI) is taking action against suo motu newspapers or based on complaints filed, the Electronics and Information Technology Union (MeitY) is taking action on complaints against digital platforms and the program code is applicable to electronic media.
“Action is taken against them (those who spread enmity in the name of fact-checking) under the law and the Union Ministry does not interfere,” he added.