Russian government officials have expressed disagreement with the blocking of the YouTube channel respresenting the country’s State Duma. According to the head of the Duma Vyacheslav Volodin, such act constitutes a breach of Russians’ rights. In his Saturday post published on Telegram, Volodin stated that the United States have been claiming monopoly over the spreading of information, which Russia “cannot allow.” Google has by now confirmed that the Duma’s account is no longer valid on YouTube. This is said to be part of applicable sanctions against Russia.
A Google representative talked to an AFP journalist to confirm that YouTube has terminated the Duma Channel, specifying it that it’s the platform’s policy to take action whenever an account if found to violate its terms and conditions. The channel, currently inaccessible according to the above journalist, has just under 150,000 viewers. Its content is largely represented by videos of parliamentary debates as well as interviews of Russian officials. The decision to block it is in line with the sanction that the US have undertaken to introduce against Russia in the wake of the latter’s invasion of Ukraine.
Volodin was not the only representative of the Russian government to express dissatisfaction with YouTube’s policies. The spokesperson of the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova states that YouTube has “sealed its fate” by suspending the Duma’s channel. Previously, Russia declared its intention to ban Google ads. The reasoning behind this decision is that the tech giant has been spreading “fake” news around the war in Ukraine. Do you feel like YouTube will be affected by Russia’s counter-measures, whatever those may be? Share your expectations in the comments