In a series of over 40 fact-checks, the PIB Fact Check Unit (FCU) busted three YouTube channels that were spreading false information in India.
These YouTube channels had nearly 33 lakh subscribers and their videos, almost all of which were found to be false, were watched over 30 crore times.
This is the first time that the PIB, which disseminates information to the media on government plans, policies, programme initiatives and achievements. has exposed entire YouTube channels against individual posts on social media spreading false claims.
The YouTube channels fact-checked by the PIB are News Headlines (9.67 lakh subscribers, 31,75,32,290 views), Sarkari Update (22.6 lakh subscribers, 8,83,594 views) and आज तक LIVE (65. 6 thousand subscribers, 1,25,04,177 views).
”These YouTube channels spread false and sensational claims about the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, Hon’ble Chief Justice of India, Government schemes, Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), farm loan waivers, etc. among other fake news. Examples include fake news such as the Supreme Court has ruled that future elections would be conducted by ballot papers; government giving money to people who have bank accounts, Aadhar Cards and PAN cards; ban on EVMs, etc,” an official release said.
The YouTube channels were observed to be using fake and sensational thumbnails with logos of TV channels and images of their news anchors to mislead the viewers to believe that the news was authentic. These channels were also found to be displaying advertisements on their videos, and monetising misinformation on YouTube.
Action taken by the PIB Fact Check Unit follows the blocking of over one hundred YouTube channels by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in the past one year.