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Government Blocked 36838 URLs on Social Media X Twitter Facebook Instagram YouTube Under IT Act 69A

Government Blocked 36838 URLs on Social Media X Twitter Facebook Instagram YouTube Under IT Act 69A
Written by Manoj Kadam
Government Blocked 36838 URLs on Social Media X Twitter Facebook Instagram YouTube Under IT Act 69A

Government Blocked 36838 URLs on Social Media X Twitter Facebook Instagram YouTube Under IT Act 69A

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Between January 2018 and October 2023, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has removed more than 36,000 URLs from social media platforms. As revealed by Minister of State Rajiv Chandrashekhar in his reply to CPI(M)'s John Brittas in the Rajya Sabha, a total of 36,838 URLs were banned under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act during this period. This is not the first time that URLs have been blocked in this manner, in March 2020 the IT Ministry had told the Lok Sabha that 3,635 URLs were blocked in 2019. However, six months later, this number changed to 3,655.

As per HT report, X (formerly Twitter) experienced the highest number of URL blocks during this 70-month period, affecting 13,660 URLs. While X saw a steady increase in blocked URLs, other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube did not show a clear trend.

In 2018, MeitY blocked 2,799 URLs and by October 2023, this number increased to 7,502. The maximum number of URL blocks occurred in 2020 with 9,849.

Section 69A of the IT Act empowers the designated officer, with the approval of the IT Secretary and on the basis of the recommendation of the 69A Block Committee, to protect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the defense of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, or any Empowers intermediaries or government agencies to issue ban orders for reasons such as preventing incitement to commit a cognizable offence.

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The report further states that MeitY reported that 6,118 URLs were blocked in 2021, but an RTI response to SFLC.in in June 2022 said that 6,096 URLs were blocked. Similarly, on Friday the ministry reported that 6,935 URLs were blocked in 2022, while two separate responses in the Lok Sabha on August 2, 2023, indicated that 6,775 URLs were blocked in the same year.

As mentioned above, similarly in March 2020, the IT Ministry initially reported 3,635 URLs blocked in 2019, and six months later the number increased to 3,655.

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