As a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, YouTube has now blocked Russian state-linked media channels around the world, expanding its ban from only applying to Europe.
In response to Russia’s internationally condemned attack, business and government leaders in the West have imposed unprecedented sanctions, including a growing number of US tech firms.
As part of its guidelines, YouTube forbids content that denies, minimizes, or trivializes violent events, so any content about Russia’s invasion in Ukraine that violates the policy will be removed.
As a result, we are blocking YouTube channels associated with Russian state-funded media, globally, effective immediately.
Denials of the invasion and claims that it is a peacekeeping operation are among the content banned by YouTube, the company said.
YouTube Bans Russian Advertisers
Google, which owns YouTube, had already stopped allowing Russian advertisers to place ads on Google properties and networks globally.
Kent Walker, Google’s global affairs president, told the BBC that the internet giant had “paused the vast majority of our commercial activities in Russia,” but maintained that free services such as search YouTube music, Youtube Videos, and Open Youtube remained operational.
According to YouTube, videos related to the invasion of Ukraine that contains hate speech may be permitted if the content is educational, artistic, or scientific in nature.
On Friday, Moscow blocked Instagram access and launched a criminal investigation against the tech giant Meta for allowing posts that called for violence against Russian forces.
The Russian government (Vladimir Putin) asked a court to label the tech giant as an “extremist organization,” and the Russian communications regulator has announced it would restrict access to Meta’s Instagram beginning March 14. Meta said the decision would affect 80 million Russian users of Facebook and Instagram.
Russia’s Investigative Committee announced that a criminal case has been opened over illegal calls for murder and violence by employees of the American company Meta, which owns the social media networks Facebook and Instagram.
The Investigative Committee reports directly to President Vladimir Putin. It is unclear what the consequences of the criminal case may be.
Death to the Russian invaders
Meta Platforms said Friday it needed to temporarily change its content policy for Ukraine to allow users to voice opposition to Russia’s attack after the country opened a criminal case after it said it would allow posts such as “death to the Russian invaders.”
Meanwhile, emails seen by Reuters revealed the U.S. company temporarily allowed posts that called for the death of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
A Kremlin spokesman said that if the report were true, it would mean that the company’s activities would have to be ended by the most decisive means.