YouTube takes action against RT after access to Twitter was restricted in Russia

YouTube has announced it is taking action against Russian public broadcaster RT after access to Twitter was restricted in the country amid the invasion of Ukraine.

In a statement on Saturday, a YouTube spokesperson said it was taking action against a number of accounts, including Russian channels affiliated with recent sanctions.

The platform said it had limited the ability of RT and other Russian channels to make money from ads, following a similar move by Facebook.

He also said access to these channels will be restricted in Ukraine after a “government request” and their videos will appear less often in recommendations.

Citing “extraordinary circumstances,” the YouTube spokesperson said: “We are suspending the ability of a number of channels to monetize on YouTube, including several Russian channels affiliated with the recent sanctions.

“We will significantly limit recommendations to these channels. And in response to a government request, we have restricted access to RT and a number of other channels in Ukraine.

The platform said it “will continue to monitor new developments and may take further action.”

It comes after Ukrainian Digital Minister Mykhailo Fedorov tweeted earlier on Saturday: “I contacted @YouTube to block Russian propaganda channels – such as Russia 24, TASS, RIA Novosti.

“If they are afraid to tell the truth, then we should stop this flow of poisonous lies.”

Earlier on Saturday, Twitter said it was “aware” that access to the platform had been restricted for some people in Russia, adding that it was “working to keep our service safe and accessible”.

NetBlocks, a London-based company that monitors web outages and internet access around the world, reported that access to Twitter and its main servers was “restricted to major networks” in Russia.

He added, “Circumvention is currently possible using VPN services, which can help users circumvent online censorship.”

Russia also restricted access to Facebook on Friday after the social media provider refused to stop fact-checking and labeling content from public organisations, former deputy prime minister Sir Nick Clegg said. .

Russian authorities announced the ‘partial restriction’ after the social media network restricted the accounts of several Kremlin-backed media outlets about the invasion of Ukraine.

Russia’s state communications watchdog Roskomnadzor said it demanded that Facebook lift restrictions it imposed on state news agency RIA Novosti on Thursday. State Zvezda and pro-Kremlin news sites Lenta.Ru and Gazeta.Ru.

Sir Nick, vice-president of global affairs at Facebook’s parent company Meta, said “ordinary Russians use our apps to speak out and organize for action” and that the company wants “they continue to make their voices heard.

Sir Nick Clegg says Facebook has refused to stop checking content from public organizations in Russia (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

He tweeted: “Yesterday Russian authorities ordered us to end independent fact-checking and labeling of content on Facebook by four Russian public media organizations.

“We refused. As a result, they announced that they would restrict the use of our services.

“Ordinary Russians use our apps to speak out and organize to take action.

“We want them to continue to raise their voices, share what’s happening and organize through Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.”

RT has been contacted for comment.

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