At least six YouTube channels allegedly promoting pro-Khalistan sentiments have been blocked at the instance of the government, a senior official said on Friday.
Information and Broadcasting Secretary Apurva Chandra said six to eight YouTube channels, operating from foreign countries, have been blocked over the past 10 days. He said the channels with content in Punjabi language were trying to foment trouble in the border state.
The government action came in the wake of supporters of radical preacher and Khalistan sympathiser Amritpal Singh storming a police station in Ajnala with swords and guns to demand the release of one of their aides.
Singh was last year anointed head of ‘Waris Punjab De’, which was founded by actor and activist late Deep Sidhu, at an event held at Moga’s Rode, the native village of slain militant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.
Another senior official said YouTube has been taking action on the government’s requests to block channels within 48 hours.
The official said that the government has also asked YouTube to use artificial intelligence and algorithms to identify and block objectionable content automatically.
However, in the Indian context, YouTube was facing problems as content was being uploaded in regional languages and the systems were in place to screen content in the English language.