— Consider reading the article Fact-check: Did PMO turn off comments on YouTube video for Mann Ki Baat to avoid students’ concerns over NEET-JEE? on OpIndia website —
Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared his views via the Mann Ki Baat program for the 68th time on 30th August 2020. Since it went live on PMO’s official YouTube channel, some rumors are floating around that PMO has deliberately disabled comment section to avoid backlash from the “students” as he did not discuss the upcoming NEET-JEE in his address.
The protests against NEET-JEE exam
The National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test- Joint Entrance Exam or NEET-JEE will take place in the month of September. There has been a nationwide drive going on to get the exam for this year in the pretext of coronavirus pandemic. Interestingly, the social media platform is filled with trends against the upcoming exams and NEET aspirant “students” from Pakistan posing as Indians are also actively participating in the trends.
While protests are going on, out of 24 lakh students who will give NEET-JEE exams this year, 11.49 lakh students have already downloaded NEET admit cards, and 7.6 lakh students have downloaded JEE admit card so far. As almost 80 per cent of the students have already downloaded their admit cards, it seems like boycotting the exam attempts to create an issue out of the mole-hill.
The interesting case of “International support” against NEET-JEE
One thing that can baffle any sane person is that self-proclaimed environmentalists, including Greta Thunberg, have shown support for the “students” in opposing the exams. It is hard to understand how she can be connected to the exams in any way. It has to be noted that she herself is a school dropout.
Also, some celebrities from India, including Sonu Sood, have come forward to support the students. One of the most amusing parts of the support gathered by “students” to oppose exams is Licypriya Kangujam coming forward in the support. She is an 8-year-old kid who is projected by her guardians as an ‘environmentalist’. Interestingly, her twitter handle, operated in her name by her guardians had been called out for lying on multiple occasions. While she writes a 3-page letter to the NEET-JEE aspirants and fills her Twitter timeline with tweets against the exam, it is hard to believe she can think of running propaganda by herself.
The claims about PMO YouTube channel
Some “prominent” social media users have posted on their Twitter handle that PMO has deliberately disabled the comment on the latest Mann Ki Baat episode as negative comments were pouring in keeping NEET-JEE exams in the background.
Many twitter users, including Alt News cofounder, tweeted insinuating that the comments have been turned off because the PMO doesn’t want to hear negative comments from ‘students’ who are against the exams.
PMO turned off comments on mann ki baat YouTube video.
— Nimma Jitesh ❁ (@Sarrrrrrkaaar) August 31, 2020
So, #PMModi‘s monologue ‘Mann ki Baat’ got 1 lakh+ DISLIKES compared to 7K LIKES. He is getting brutally trolled and receiving outrageous comments. Allegedly many comments got deleted and comment section turned off. Lol! #MannKiBaat #Mann_Ki_Nahi_Student_Ki_Baat pic.twitter.com/e1voV2CNsY
— NΛZRE IMΛM (@iamnazreimam) August 30, 2020
What is the reality
However, when we scrolled through the videos of PMO’s YouTube channel, we found out that the comments have always been disabled on the channel. Even the comments during the YouTube live and Community tab are disabled.
What does YouTube policy say about the content made for kids
According to the policy update of January 2020, any content that has been posted on YouTube and marked as “Made For Kids” cannot have comments. YouTube brought this change to comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) that forbids the companies to collect data associated with children under the age of 13 without the parents’ consent. One of the reasons that the comments are disabled on PMO’s YouTube channel is that the videos are marked as “Made For Kids”.
Starting today, if you’re watching content that’s made for kids, you may notice that certain features will no longer be available — these are part of the changes we announced last year to better protect kids and their privacy on YouTube. https://t.co/oZvOEACaAZ
— YouTube (@YouTube) January 6, 2020
An attempt to show comments from other channels hosting Mann Ki Baat
Bhartiya Janata Party’s YouTube channel, PM Modi’s YouTube channel, etc. also upload the episodes of Mann Ki Baat program and some other channels. While comments are held for moderation on PM Modi’s YouTube channel, BJP does not filter the comments. It looks like some Twitter users tried to be sneaky and posted screenshots of the comments from BJP’s channel without showing the title of the video that helps in differentiating videos from PMO’s channel and other channels.
In the majority of the videos uploaded by PMO, the title has the suffix “PMO”. It makes it easier for the users to differentiate which channel they are views the videos on. On the other hand, other channels like BJP do not add any prefix or suffix in the title.
It proves that the claims that PMO turns off comments on YouTube videos for recent Mann Ki Baat session to avoid negative comments from NEET-JEE aspirants is Fake.