The PIB Fact Check Unit (FCU) of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting busted six YouTube channels which were working in a coordinated manner and spreading false information in India. The Fact Check Unit released six separate Twitter threads having over 100 fact-checks to counter the fake news spread by these channels. This is the second such action from the Unit under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting where entire channels have been busted.
The six YouTube channels were found to be operating as part of a coordinated disinformation network, had nearly 20 lakh subscribers and their videos have been watched over 51 crore times.
The YouTube channels exposed by the PIB Fact Check unit spread fake news about the elections, proceedings in the Supreme Court and Parliament of India, functioning of the Government of India, etc. Examples include false claims regarding ban on Electronic Voting Machines, and false statements attributed to senior Constitutional functionaries including the Hon’ble President of India, Hon’ble Chief Justice of India.
The channels are part of a fake news economy that thrives on monetization of fake news. The channels use fake, clickbait and sensational thumbnails and images of television news anchors of TV Channels to mislead the viewers to believe that the news was authentic and drive traffic to their channels in order to monetize the videos published by them.
This is the second such action by PIB Fact Check Unit. In an earlier major action, on 20th December, 2022, the Unit had exposed three channels peddling fake news.