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Ukraine crisis: YouTube blocks Russian state-funded media channels globally

Content barred by YouTube includes denials of the attacks or claims that it is a peacekeeping operation, the company said



Reuters file
Reuters file

By AFP

Published: Sat 12 Mar 2022, 8:16 AM

YouTube on Friday broadened its blocking of Russian state-linked media channels to apply internationally after initially barring them only in Europe following Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine.

Russia’s internationally condemned attack has provoked unprecedented sanctions from Western governments and businesses, including a growing list of US tech firms.

YouTube’s guidelines “prohibit content denying, minimizing or trivializing well-documented violent events, and we remove content about Russia’s invasion in Ukraine that violates this policy,” the video sharing platform said.

“In line with that, effective immediately, we are also blocking YouTube channels associated with Russian state-funded media, globally,” it added.

Content barred by YouTube includes denials of the attacks or claims that it is a peacekeeping operation, the company said.

YouTube-parent Google had already stopped allowing ads on Google properties and networks globally for advertisers based in Russia.

Google global affairs president Kent Walker said previously that the internet giant had “paused the vast majority of our commercial activities in Russia” but its free services such as search and YouTube continued to operate there.

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YouTube posts associated with the attacks on Ukraine that contain what might be considered hate speech could be permitted if the content is educational, artistic or scientific in nature, according to YouTube.

Russia restricted access on Friday to Instagram and launched a criminal case against its owner Meta, as Moscow fired back at the tech giant for allowing posts calling for violence against Russian forces.


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