Centre asks YouTube to block National Dastak's channel

Neither the Union government nor YouTube has provided any reason for such an action against the news portal

Representative image (photo: National Herald archives)
Representative image (photo: National Herald archives)

NH Digital

The Union government has directed YouTube to remove National Dastak's channel from its platform. But surprisingly, neither the government nor YouTube has provided any reason for such action against the news portal. Another platform, Article 19 India, has also received a similar notice, according to a Scroll.in report.

The news portal said the government wanted to shut down its YouTube channel, to which effect it had received a notice from YouTube on 3 April, though the channel is still on air as of filing this report.

“The government wants to shut down National Dastak,” the news portal said in a post on X. “YouTube sent a notice on 3 April. Article 19 [another YouTube channel] has also received a notice. All this is happening while the model code of conduct is in effect.”

National Dastak, under editor Shambhu Kumar Singh, has about 9.4 million subscribers on YouTube, and describes itself as a voice of Dalits, Adivasis, farmers, women and oppressed people, Scroll.in reported. The news portal also posted an image of the legal notice it received on 3 April 2024, on X.

In an email to National Dastak, YouTube said it had received a notice from the Union ministry of information and broadcasting to take down the channel in compliance with rule 15 (2) of the Information Technology Rules 2021 with Section 69A of the Information Technology Act 2000.

“Lakhs of newspapers and TV news channels are running, and yet there is such fear over the Bahujans’ National Dastak?” the portal posted on X.

According to The Wire, the notice by YouTube’s legal cell cites the controversial Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021, as the basis for the government’s action.

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