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3 YouTube channels in fake news racket busted  

Image Tweeted by @PIBFactCheck

The Press Information Bureau’s (PIB) Fact Check Unit (FCU) has in a series of over 40 fact-checks, busted three YouTube channels which were spreading false information in India, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

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, the statement said.

This is the first time when PIB has exposed entire YouTube channels as against individual posts on social media spreading false claims. Details of the YouTube channels fact-checked by PIB  are:

Sl. No. Name of YouTube Channel Subscribers Views
News Headlines 9.67 lakh 31,75,32,290
Sarkari Update 22.6 lakh 8,83,594
आज तक LIVE 65.6 thousand 1,25,04,177

These YouTube channels spread false and sensational claims about the Supreme Court of India,  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 to have 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.

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 monetizing misinformation on YouTube.

Action taken by PIB Fact Check Unit follows blocking of over one hundred YouTube channels by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in the past one year.