Russian media regulator demands Google restore access to its YouTube channels

Russian media regulator demands Google restore access to its YouTube channels. image: twitter

Access to its YouTube channels is demanded of Google by Russian state media regulator Roskomnadzor

Roskomnadzor, Russia’s state media regulator, reportedly contacted Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google and YouTube, on Sunday, February 27, demanding it lifts the restrictions that have been imposed in Ukraine on broadcasts from the likes of Sputnik, RBC, and TV Zvezda.

As confirmed on Twitter by Ukraine Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov, early on Saturday 26, various state-run media outlets had been blocked by YouTube at his request.

“We intend to help Russians and the world to know the truth. I’ve contacted @YouTube to block the propagandist Russian channels such as Russia 24, TASS, RIA Novosti. If they are afraid of speaking the truth, we should stop this flow of poisonous lies”, he tweeted.

The state watchdog also accused Facebook of censoring Russian programmes, along with other big tech platforms.

A spokesperson for YouTube told Axios on Saturday, “In response to a government request, we’ve restricted access to RT and a number of other channels in Ukraine. We will continue to monitor new developments and may take further actions”.

YouTube was also ‘pausing a number of channels’ ability to monetize on the platform added the spokesperson, “because of ‘extraordinary circumstances in Ukraine'”. They added that YouTube would also be “significantly limiting recommendations to these channels”.

Google had earlier on Saturday announced that it was blocking the selling of ads by Russian state media channels, following a similar action by YouTube a few hours before. The platform, which is owned by Google, blocked the global selling of ads by Russian state media channels, and stopped them from being accessed locally in Ukraine.

Russia’s state-run television network TR was also removed from Google Play Store in Ukraine, following a second request from the Ukrainian government. CNN reported that YouTube had been pressured last Friday 25 by Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner.

He had reportedly written to YouTube to alert them to the fact that he was informing the Departments of Justice and Treasury that the platform was allowing sanctioned Russian entities to monetise, as reported by dailymail.com.

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Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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