Since late February, Youtube has removed 9,000 channels and 70,000 videos related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The video platform has taken down pro-Kremlin journalist Vladimir Solovyov's channel and suspended Russian ministries' accounts for describing the war in Ukraine as a 'liberation mission,' the Guardian reported.
In an interview with the outlet, YouTube's chief product officer Neal Mohan said that the consumption of “authoritative channels” has grown significantly in Ukraine and the surrounding countries, including Russia itself.
"The first and probably most paramount responsibility is making sure that people who are looking for information about this event can get accurate, high-quality, credible information on YouTube," he said.
Much of the removed content echoed the Kremlin's narratives.
Russian communications watchdog, Roskomnadzor has repeatedly called YouTube's content moderation policy unacceptable.
Recently, YouTube blocked access to the LenTV24 channel for broadcasting events dedicated to Victory Day. Roskomnadzor reached out to YouTube's parent company, Google, asking to unlock the channel and explain the reason for restricting access.
"Such measures fundamentally violate the key principles of the free flow of information and unhindered access to it. We consider these actions of the YouTube administration as an act of censorship and consider similar restrictions in relation to the specified account unacceptable," Roskomnadzor said.
In April, it demanded Google lift restrictions on Russian state media. YouTube has blocked the channels of the State TV and Radio Company Stavropol, Krasnodar, Bashkortostan, Novosibirsk, Kuzbass and Vainakh of the Chechen Republic.
"Roskomnadzor considers the blocking of Russian state media channels unacceptable and demands that all restrictions be lifted immediately, that the department be informed, and that the reasons for the introduction of restrictive measures be explained," Roskomnadzor said.
While accusing others of censorship, the Kremlin goes to great lengths to block narratives that challenge its "truths." Foreign media outlets were forced to suspend reporting in Russia after Vladimir Putin signed a so-called “fake news” law that threatens journalists with up to 15 years in jail.
The so-called “fake news” law targets anyone who dares to publicly disagree with the Kremlin's view on the war in Ukraine, which Russia sees only as a special military operation.
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