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Nearly 4,000 videos ordered to be removed off YouTube by India’s health ministry: Report

These videos allegedly informed users on sex determination of foetuses which is illegal in India. But does the ministry have this power?

YouTube app on a mobile phone

We missed this earlier Nearly 4,000 URLs on YouTube were ordered to be removed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, according to a report in Hindustan Times. The report said that notices were sent to YouTubers because they had uploaded videos about sex determination of foetuses. These videos were found to be a manual for viewers on how to determine the sex of a foetus by looking at various pregnancy reports, Hindustan Times reported. Why it matters: It is a notable development as the notice was sent by a ministry which is not responsible for regulating content on the internet. It is illegal to determine sex of foetuses in India to curb female foeticide which is still prevalent in large parts of this country. It is also interesting because the issue is at the centre of the debate raging around content takedowns and how they remain shrouded in opacity. What else did the report reveal: A government official told Hindustan Times that the ministry also identified and pulled up the offending channels as well. He also informed the news daily that the ministry urged Google to take off the content from its website. He also urged people to report such videos on the following email address— pndtmohfw@gmail.com Who can censor: It may be unclear whether the health ministry has any powers to issue such notices but the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has powers under the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021. The ministry…

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I cover several beats such as Crypto, Telecom, and OTT at MediaNama. I can be found loitering at my local theatre when I am off work consuming movies by the dozen.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



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