Big Tech /

YouTube Banning Russian Media Globally

YouTube is expanding its ban on Russian media from just the European Union to worldwide.

Russian media, including RT and Sputnik, were blocked from being played in the EU following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The video hosting platform shared the announcement on Friday and said that the ban would go into effect immediately.

“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 spokesman Farshad Shadloo said in a statement to Reuters. “In line with that, effective immediately, we are also blocking YouTube channels associated with Russian state-funded media, globally.”

The company also posted a lengthy thread on Twitter explaining the censorship.

“Since our last update, our teams have now 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,” the thread stated.

In addition to blocking Russian media, YouTube said that they are also directing people to “trusted news sources.”

“Our systems are also connecting people to trusted news sources. So far, our breaking news and top news shelves on our homepage have received more than 17M views in Ukraine,” the thread continued.

In a Twitter thread, CNN correspondent Donie Sullivan pointed out that RT’s English-language channel has more than 3.5 billion views, 4.7 million subscribers, and 60,000 videos.

The Spanish language RT channel is even more significant, with almost 4.5 billion views, RT Arabic has over 2.5 billion views.

The network has traditionally taken a left-wing anti-imperialist approach with their news and commentary.

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