YouTube took down channels linked to Russian state media such as RT and Sputnik; the company has also suspended all monetization programs for partners in Russia after it has pulled out ads in the country in response to the Russia-Ukraine war.
The Google-owned video-sharing platform said that the move was in line with its prohibition of content that “denies, minimizes or trivializes violent events.”
In addition, YouTube said it is now blocking access to YouTube channels associated with Russian state-funded media, including RT and Sputnik, across the globe after earlier blocking them from access across Europe. “This change is effective immediately, and we expect our systems to take time to ramp up,” YouTube said in a statement on Twitter.
The firm said, “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’s official account for updates to the press and media confirmed the news in a Twitter thread on Friday.
Tweeted, “Our Community Guidelines prohibit content denying, minimizing or trivializing well-documented violent events. We are now removing content about Russia’s invasion of 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.”
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 monitor the situation closely and are ready to take further action. We will continue to share updates as they become available.”.
In a protest over the Russian invasion of Ukraine, YouTube followed the steps of many tech firms suspending or restricting services in Russia, joining the swelling ranks of digital providers blocking users.
Many firms have already pulled services from the country, such as Netflix, Ikea, Disney, Warner Bros, BP, Mastercard, Visa, and more. Earlier, TikTok also announced it would halt posting all content from Russia in the wake of new ‘fake news’ legislation that could put people at risk.
Russia’s state media have hit back at restrictions, with some accusing the companies of “unjustified censorship.”