YouTube strikes again, independent channel Media Swaraj, critical of regime shut down without notice, back on after outrage

In yet another instance of what amounts to unilateral censorship, Media Swaraj, a platform run by veteran journalist Ram Dutt Tripathi from Lucknow was shut down without notice or reasons; the mandatory appeal has been filed; by 1.30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 8 the channel was back on, possibly because of the outrage

Even before the passage of the controversial Broadcast Services Bill, 2023 and while the chilling 2023 amendment to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules are still under adjudication in India’s constitutional courts, the blatant nexus between corporate social media giants and the Indian BJP-dominated regime surfaced again with the sudden “shutting down” of Media Swaraj, a YouTube Channel run by veteran journalist Ram Dutt Tripathi. Speaking to Sabrang India, Tripathi said that recent shows were on controversial EVMs (electronic voting machines and that Media Srawaj, with 7,000 subscribers is generally critical of government.

The mandatory appeal filed by Media Swaraj was brief and filed on the prescribed format. The channel informed Sabrang India that “We have been following all rules and guidelines and see no valid reason for this drastic action. We have filed an appeal against this decision and requested them to restore the channel.”

Ram Dutt Tripathi, senior journalist and with the BBC for 21 years is the founder and anchor of the channel, Media Swaraj news YouTube channel that is being run on the principles of Public Service Journalism and has been following rules and guidelines. The focus of the platform is politics, democracy, rule of law, health and environment. The channel has been terminated by the YouTube on 7th February around 4 pm.

Media Swaraj and Ram Dutt Tripathi received the intimation of the unilateral termination by email and an appeal has been filed on prescribed format. The news has come as a shock to Media Swaraj listeners and subscribers. People are expressing their support and solidarity. Tushar Gandhi, great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi is one among them. On the afternoon of Thursday, Media Swaraj received an email that the channel has been restored.


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