YouTube reinstates Bolta Hindustan account, cites no wrongdoing after government order

Bolta Hindustan YouTube account’s suspension by YouTube gets revoked one month after the government issued an order to Google to remove the platform’s account citing the country's IT Act 2000 and 2021.

Digital news platform Bolta Hindustan announced today that their YouTube channel was finally reinstated after being banned a month ago under the directions of a confidential order from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to Google’s legal team.

The media platform took to X, formerly Twitter, to announce YouTube’s decision.

As per the channel, YouTube has undertaken a review and has now ‘confirmed’ that the channel is not in violation of the platform’s Terms and Service. 

In April, YouTube had informed the platform that they were being removed because the government sent them an order. This action had come just a week before voting for India’s Lok Sabha elections began in April, and therefore began raising allegations of press censorship. However, a month later in May, YouTube has reportedly reinstated the account apologising for any inconvenience caused. In response to the latest move, the platform has stated that they did not deter from following journalistic standards and principles. They took the legal path and asked YouTube to reconsider its decision to ban the channel. 

The founder of Bolta Hindustan, Haseen Rahmani, had spoken to Sabrang India after the ban, classifying the ban as an ‘attack on the messenger.’ citing how people who made hate speech were not being persecuted by those in power, but those who showcased crimes against the marginalised were instead being punished. 

This is however not the only independent news platform that has witnessed a ban in the past six months. Soon after Bolta Hindustan was banned, the central government had reportedly issued a notice to ban the online news platform National Dastak from YouTube. Two other platforms, including Article – 19 on April 3rd and Media Swaraj on February 8 were also banned. It is to be noted that each of these media platforms are independent media platforms that are not owned by corporate houses. They have also been noted for criticisms of the current government and its policies.

In 2023, India witnessed several of its news agencies being bought by corporate giants. Renowned agencies and media houses such as NDTV and IANS saw over 50% of their shares being bought by Gautam Adani. In an India where news channels are being increasingly bought by corporate giants with links to governments, the ban on these channels has brought about charges of infringing on press freedom. These bans have brought out criticism from India’s press unions. Press Club of India criticised the move to ban Bolta Hindustan and National Dastak as an “extreme act of the government.” 


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 Hindustan ko bolne do, says DUJ



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