YouTube Blocks All Contents Tied to Russian State Media

In its latest move to combat misinformation and favor “trusted” news sources, YouTube stated Friday that it is now eliminating all content with ties to Russian state-funded media.

“Our employees have now removed over 1,000 channels and over 15,000 videos for breaching not only our hate speech policy, but also our standards on misinformation, graphic content, and more,” the company tweeted.

YouTube said on March 1 that it was eliminating the Russian state-funded news networks RT and Sputnik, as well as halting all adverts and recommendations for any Russian state-funded media channels. The business also highlighted its Russia-specific information flags, which denote when content is linked to official funding and were added in 2018. “Funded in whole or in part by the Russian government,” the panel states.

YouTube also stated that its monitored “Top News” and “Breaking News” homepage categories had gotten more over 17 million views in Ukraine alone, in addition to its recent move to widen these restrictions. The business claims it will continue to upgrade its systems in the future to delete more state-sponsored content as needed.

YouTube has also disabled all types of revenue for Russian government-funded content. Globally, social media firms like as Meta, Twitter, and TikTok have taken steps to combat disinformation on their platforms, ranging from removing revenue-generating adverts to deleting accounts, and even cooperating with third-party media literacy organizations.

Microsoft and Sony have halted product releases and services in Russia, and service apps like Paypal and Airbnb have decided to halt operations in the country. These actions will undoubtedly affect Russian nationals both at home and abroad, many of whom are stranded without access to money or information as a result of global sanctions.

However, the decision to ban Russian-state-controlled media from sites like YouTube should encourage more people to seek out reliable news sources. And while many Russians risk heavy reprisal from state officials for condemning the invasion and combating misinformation operations from their own leaders, that’s a major undertaking.

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