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Government issued 105 orders to block social media content under new IT rules

The central government has issued 105 orders to social media platforms to block content under new IT rules that came into force in February last year.

According to information shared by Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar in a written response to Rajya Sabha, 94 content blocking instructions were issued to YouTube between December 2021 and April 2022.

In addition, five directions to Twitter and three each to Facebook and Instagram under the new IT rules.

He said the government notified the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Codes of Ethics) Rules 2021 (“IT Rules, 2021”) on February 25, 2021, to make intermediaries , including social media platforms, accountable to their users and improving user safety. on line.

In June, IT and Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw assured that the government would make the necessary legal changes and regulations to make social media platforms more accountable.

“Whatever legal changes are needed, we will do that. Within the media groups, the necessary self-regulation…self-regulation will be done…but wherever it is necessary, we will take all measures to make the more responsible social media,” Vaishnaw said. .

Last month, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said his ministry had taken action against 94 YouTube channels, 19 social media accounts and 747 websites that worked against the country’s interests in 2021. -22, and blocked them.

He said the action was taken under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act 2000.

This year in January, the Ministry of I&B blocked 35 YouTube news channels operating from Pakistan and two websites spreading misinformation about India. The 35 blocked accounts included the Apni Duniya network which operated 14 YouTube channels and the Talha Films network which operated 13 YouTube channels. A set of four channels, and a set of two others, were also found to work in sync with each other, the ministry said.

Additionally, two Twitter handles, two Instagram accounts and a Facebook page were also blocked for spreading coordinated anti-Indian information on the internet.

The government had blocked 20 YouTube channels and two websites in December when emergency powers under the 2021 IT rules were first used to act against bogus anti-India news networks.

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