The government of India has ordered YouTube and Twitter to take down links sharing the BBC documentary ‘India: The Modi Question’, according to multiple media reports.
It is learnt that the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting had issued directions to YouTube for blocking of multiple videos which published the first episode of the aforesaid documentary. Orders were also issued to Twitter for blocking of over 50 tweets containing the links of such YouTube videos.
The Ministry has reportedly invoked the emergency powers under IT Rules, 2021, to block the videos and tweets. Both YouTube and Twitter have taken action, the sources said, while adding that senior officials of multiple ministries, like Ministry of External Affairs, Home Affairs and I&B, had examined the documentary and found it to be an attempt to cast aspersions on the authority and credibility of the Supreme Court of India, sow divisions among various communities, and make unsubstantiated allegations regarding actions of foreign governments in India.
Accordingly, it was found to be “undermining sovereignty and integrity of India, and having the potential to adversely impact India’s friendly relations with foreign states”, which allows the Centre to invoke the emergency powers under the IT Rules, 2021.
The documentary, produced by the UK’s Public Broadcaster, was earlier termed by the External Affairs Ministry as a “propaganda piece that lacks objectivity and reflects colonial mindset”.
While it was not made available in India by the BBC, several YouTube channels had uploaded it. The government has also directed YouTube to block such videos in the future if uploaded on its platform. Twitter has also been directed to identify and block the tweets containing the links to the video on other platforms.