YouTube begins blocking global access to Russian state media

Viacom YouTube
Posted at 2:58 PM, Mar 11, 2022

(BOSTON) — YouTube announced on Friday that it has begun blocking access globally to channels associated with Russian state-funded media. It had previously blocked them, specifically RT and Sputnik, across Europe.

YouTube, which is owned by Google, announced the move in a Twitter post and said that while the change is effective immediately, “we expect our systems to take time to ramp up.”

YouTube also said it was now removing content about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that violates its policy that “minimizes or trivializes well-documented violent events.” The Kremlin refers to the invasion as a “special military operation” and not a war.

YouTube previously paused YouTube ads in Russia. Now, it is extending that to all the ways it makes money on the platform in Russia.

Ukraine’s digital transformation minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, predicted in his Telegram channel that the Kremlin would soon move to block YouTube in Russia. “It’s a question of time.”