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YouTube blocks Russian-funded media platforms

YouTube app is seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken, July 13, 2021. Photo: Reuters

YouTube is immediately blocking access around the world to channels associated with Russian state-funded media, it said on Friday, citing a policy barring content that denies, minimises or trivialises well-documented violent events.

The world’s most used streaming video service, which is owned by Alphabet Inc’s, Google, said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine now fell under its violent events policy and violating material would be removed.

Reuters reports that, YouTube spokesman Farshad Shadloo said the blocking of the Russian outlets was in line with that policy.

Previously, YouTube had blocked leading Russia state-backed channels RT and Sputnik across Europe.

Russian state media have called restrictions placed on them by distributors, which include app stores and other social media services, unjustified censorship.

“The blocking by YouTube is nothing but a new turn of an atrocious attack on one of the fundamental principles of a democratic society – that is freedom of the press,” Sputnik said in a statement on Friday.

Meanwhile, YouTube has declined to specify which and how many channels had been blocked globally, or whether they ever would be restored.

Writing by Muzha Kucha