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YouTube Blocks Russian State-Run Media Channels Around the World

© AFP 2023 / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEVThis picture taken in Moscow on October 12, 2021 shows the logo of Youtube social media on a smartphone screen.
This picture taken in Moscow on October 12, 2021 shows the logo of Youtube social media on a smartphone screen.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.03.2022
Earlier in March, YouTube started blocking the YouTube channels of Sputnik and RT across Europe, falling in line with the EU’s anti-Russian sanctions imposed over Moscow's military operation in Ukraine.
YouTube, the video hosting platform owned by Google, has moved to block access to channels associated with Russian state-funded media, citing a policy that prohibits content that denies well-documented violent events.
"Our Community 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", YouTube said in a statement. "In line with that, effective immediately, we are also blocking YouTube channels associated with Russian state-funded media, globally".
According to the statement, the platform has already removed more than 1,000 channels and over 15,000 videos for "violating not only our hate speech policy, but also our policies around misinformation, graphic content and more".
YouTube also said it has suspended all of the ways to monetise on the platform in Russia, shortly after pausing all ads on videos in the country.
Earlier in March, the platform started blocking the YouTube channels of Russian state-run media across Europe after the EU slapped sanctions on Moscow over its military operation in Ukraine. Russian state media called the move an act of censorship and "manipulation of the information agenda".
On Friday, another Western Big Tech company, Meta, introduced a controversial change to its platforms' policies, allowing what they called "forms of political expression" that would normally violate its rules - like hate speech such as “death to the Russian invaders".
Meta and Facebook logos are seen in this illustration taken February 15, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.03.2022
'Necessary' to Ban Facebook, Instagram If They Allowed Calls for Violence Against Russia - Kremlin
The move drew massive condemnation from Russia, with the country's media watchdog announcing that Instagram would be blocked since the platform allows calls for violence against Russian soldiers. Earlier, the regulator blocked Facebook and limited access to Twitter.
Instagram is set to be blocked by Russia’s media watchdog on 14 March at midnight.
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