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YouTube Blocks Channels Linked To Russian State Media

YouTube Blocks Channels Linked To Russian State Media

The Google-owned platform said the move was in line with its prohibition of content that ‘denies, minimises or trivialises violent events’.

YouTube has blocked channels associated with Russian state-funded media worldwide as the country’s war against Ukraine continues. 

The Google-owned video-sharing platform said the move was in line with its prohibition of content that ‘denies, minimises or trivialises violent events’. 

YouTube Insider, the company’s official account for updates to the press and media, confirmed the news in a six-part Twitter thread yesterday (11 March).

It reads: “Our Community Guidelines prohibit content denying, minimizing or trivializing well-documented violent events. 

“We are now removing content about Russia’s invasion in Ukraine that violates this policy.

“In line with that, we are also now blocking access to YouTube channels associated with Russian state-funded media globally, expanding from across Europe. 

“This change is effective immediately, and we expect our systems to take time to ramp up.”

Previously, YouTube began blocking Kremlin-backed channels RT and Sputnik across Europe, which included pausing monetisation and limiting recommendations, while also removing violative content across the platform. 

Since then, the firm says ‘our teams have now removed more than 1,000 channels and over 15,000 videos’ for violating its ‘hate speech policy’, as well as ‘policies around misinformation, graphic content and more’.


The company continued: “In addition, we recently paused all YouTube ads in Russia. We’ve now extended this to all of the ways to monetize on our platform in Russia.

“Our teams continue to closely monitor the situation, and are ready to take further action. We will continue to share updates as they become available.”

YouTube is one of many tech firms suspending or restricting services in Russia, joining the swelling ranks of digital providers blocking users in protest over the Kremlin's Ukrainian invasion.

So far, Netflix, Ikea, Disney, Warner Bros, BP, Mastercard, Visa and more have pulled services from the country. 

TikTok also announced it would halt the posting of all content from Russia in the wake of new 'fake news' legislation that could put people at risk.

Meanwhile, Facebook parent Meta announced earlier this month that it had barred Russian state media from running ads or making money via its platform.

Russia’s state media have hit back at restrictions, with some accusing the companies of ‘unjustified censorship’. 

As reported by the Guardian, Sputnik said in a statement yesterday: “The blocking by YouTube is nothing but a new turn of an atrocious attack on one of the fundamental principles of a democratic society – that is freedom of the press.”

If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy