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PIB busts six YouTube fake news channels with a total page view of more than 513 million

Fake News
Photo: Wiki Commons

Adding to the growing list of fake news channels that are thriving on YouTube, the government has banned six more such channels on January 12. The most recent addition includes six channels. The banned channels commanded a massive subscriber base of more than 20 lakh that generated  more than  513 million page views, according to a statement issued by the Press Information Bureau’s Fact Checking Unit under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

“The YouTube channels exposed by the PIB Fact Check unit 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 President of India, Chief Justice of India, among others.

“The channels are part of a fake news economy that thrives on monetisation. 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 monetize the videos published by them,” said the statement.

PIB Fact Check has put out detailed Twitter threads of the exposing the alleged fake news racket of the six YouTube channels.

Nation TV
Subscribers: 5.57 lakh
Views: 21.01 million

Samvad TV
Subscribers: 10.9 lakh
Views: 17.3 million

Sarokar Bharat
Subscribers: 21,1oo
Views: 4.5 million

Nation 24
Subscribers: 25,400
Views: 4.3 million

Swarnim Bharat
Subscribers: 6070
Views: 1.0 million

Samvaad Samachar
Subscribers: 3.48 lakh
Views: 11.93 million

These channels have been banned since PIB’s scrutiny. In April last year, the PIB Fact Check Unit blacklisted 22 YouTube channels for spreading fake news.

While fake news has become a part of the digital information ecosystem, experts have warned of exercising caution from letting fact checking become a censorship tool in the hands of the government to suppress adverse reporting.
 

 

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