Russian media regulator asks Google to restore access to YouTube channels in Ukraine – JURIST

Russian media regulator Roskomnadzor said on Sunday it had written to the management of Google LLC demanding the removal of all restrictions on Russian media’s YouTube channels on Ukrainian territory. Banned channels RBC, Zvezda and Sputnik have previously come under fire for broadcasting fake news and Russian propaganda.

Google on Saturday cited “extraordinary circumstances” to prevent Russian state-owned media channels from monetizing videos on Youtube, receiving money from ads on their websites and apps, and buying ads through Google services such as search, Gmail and Google Tools. Youtube spokesperson Farshad Shadloo also told reporters that videos from restricted media channels would be less likely to make it into the recommendations.

After a demand by the Ukrainian Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedoro “to block Russian propagandist channels”, several channels are no longer accessible in Ukraine.

Roskomnadzor alleges that US internet services participate in “information confrontation” by restricting Russian media, including official Russian news sources and that “such actions violate key principles of the free flow of information and its unhindered access by citizens”.

Google Maps has also blocked features that provide real-time information in Ukraine, such as the Live Traffic Overlay and the Live Busyness Monitor showing a location’s live popularity to keep Ukrainians safe.

Meta has also banned Russian state media advertising on its platforms, while Twitter suspended all advertising in Ukraine and Russia. On Monday, Netflix announced it would not add state-run channels to its Russian service, despite new regulations requiring compliance by March 1.

Raymond T. Helms