PIB’s fact-check unit detects three YouTube channels spreading fake news

The fact-checking unit of the Press Information Bureau (PIB) has detected three YouTube channels allegedly spreading fake news about the Supreme Court and senior constitutional officers.

The face verification unit has identified more than 40 cases where these channels were spreading false information. They had nearly 33,000 subscribers and their videos, almost all of which were found to be fake, were viewed more than 32 million times, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry said.

“This is PIB exposing entire YouTube channels against individual posts spreading false claims on social media,” the Ministry said. One of the channels called “News Headlines” has 9.67 thousand subscribers and more than 31.75 million views. Another channel, “Sarkari Update”, has over 22.60 lakh subscribers and 8.83 lakh views. A third called “Aaj Tak (Hindi) Live” has 65,600 subscribers and its videos have been viewed 1.25 million times.

According to the ministry, these channels spread false and sensational claims about the Supreme Court, Chief Justice of India, Prime Minister, government schemes, Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), farm loan waivers and other issues.

“Examples include fake news, such as the fact that the Supreme Court has ruled that future elections will be held through ballot papers; government disbursement of money to people with bank accounts, Aadhaar cards and PAN cards; Banning EVMs etc,” he said.

These YouTube channels also used fake and sensational thumbnails with logos of popular TV channels and images of news anchors to trick viewers into believing that the said news was real. They were also found to be showing ads on their videos and monetizing misinformation on YouTube.

“The action taken by the PIB Fact Checks Unit follows the blocking of more than a hundred YouTube channels by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in the past year,” the Ministry said.

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