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'We Just Showed the Truth': Russian Pranksters Vovan and Lexus React to YouTube Ban

© Sputnik / Grigorii Sysoev / Go to the mediabankRussian pranksters Vovan (left) and Lexus at the Eastern Economic Forum
Russian pranksters Vovan (left) and Lexus at the Eastern Economic Forum - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.03.2023
One of the pranksters, Alexey Stolyarov (Lexus), said he does not believe that their videos on YouTube violated the digital platform's guidelines, suggesting instead that the "truth" the prankster duo shared "probably was not convenient for western officials."
Western Big Tech has once again demonstrated just how much it "cares" about freedom of speech as video-hosting platform YouTube, which is owned by Google, banned the channel of Russian prankster duo Vovan & Lexus over alleged violation of community guidelines.
During an interview with Sputnik, one of the pranksters, Alexey Stolyarov (Lexus), pointed out that the ban came shortly after they pranked William Hague, the UK’s former foreign secretary.
“We got a letter that we have broken the rules of YouTube because of the prank with the ex-Foreign Secretary William Hague,” Stolyarov said. “And they wrote that they had to remove it, but probably after 2 hours they removed the whole channel without explanation.”
He noted that this is far from the first time their channel has been blocked on YouTube, and that the last time they got banned, the British government and the UK Ministry of Defense actually sent a letter to the video hosting’s management, naming the pranksters as “real threats to the UK national security.”
“This time we have pranked ex-Foreign Secretary William Hague. It was in all Russian media, but it wasn't in the UK media. Because since the last prank call with the defense secretary, they noted in the letter that other contributors of information have already agreed not to spread our pranks,” he said. “At first, YouTube kept silent for about three days. And then they blocked us.”
National Security Adviser John Bolton attends a meeting with President Donald Trump as he meets with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France, Monday, Aug. 26, 2019 - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.02.2023
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The prankster also expressed his skepticism about allegations of their pranks violating YouTube’s community guidelines.
“We just spread the statements of their western officials. It's not our words. It's their words,” he said, referring to the admissions those officials made during prank calls with Vovan and Lexus. “We just showed the truth and this probably was not convenient for western officials.”
Stolyarov added that they have already moved to platforms such as RuTube, Telegram and VK, over which Western governments and tech corporations hold no sway.
“It's good that it works in Russia and nobody could ban it because of political reasons but also we have a reserve channel on the Reddit platform. It's also available in the West.” Stolyarov a.k.a. Lexus remarked.
Vovan and Lexus have gained considerable fame in recent years as they prank a number of prominent western politicians, including current UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, tricking them into making rather frank admissions about poignant geopolitical matters.
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