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In an attempt to take control of divisive and anti-India content online, the Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur on Wednesday warned that the government will continue to take such action against those "hatching conspiracy" against the country. This come days after 20 YouTube channels and two websites were blocked for spreading anti-India propaganda and fake news,

“I had ordered for action against them.… I am happy that many big countries across the world took cognisance of it. YouTube also came forward and took action to block them," Thakur said.

 The I&B ministry had in December last year ordered the blocking of 20 YouTube channels and two websites as they were spreading anti-India propaganda and fake news.

“And in future also, action will be taken to block any such account hatching conspiracy against India, spreading lies and dividing the society," the minister asserted.

In a statement in December, the ministry had said that these 20 YouTube channels and the websites belonged to “a coordinated disinformation network" operating from Pakistan and spreading fake news about various sensitive subjects related to India"

The channels were used to post "divisive content in a coordinated manner on topics like Kashmir, Indian army, minority communities in India, Ram Mandir, General Bipin Rawat, etc", it had said. 

Meanwhile, earlier this week a global survey showed that public trust in governments and media has declined in the last one year amid the Covid-19 pandemic while concerns about fake news have reached all-time high levels.

The annual Edelman Trust Barometer report, released every year during the World Economic Forum's Davos summit showed that 76% respondents globally said they worry about false information or fake news being used as a weapon. While Spain topped this list with 84%, India came in at the fifth place with 82%.

In terms of the average per cent trust in NGOs, businesses, governments and media among their people, China topped the list and India came in at the fourth place and Russia was at the bottom. Additionally, India saw the trust declining in businesses, governments and media while it was unchanged with regard to NGOs.

 

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