Google-owned streaming platform YouTube has said it is now blocking Kremlin-backed media outlets globally — not just in Europe where two Russia state-affiliated channels, Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik, along with their subsidiaries, were sanctioned by the European Union last week.
According to TechCrunch, this goes above and beyond any legal mandates to block this content — but is not entirely unprecedented; last week Apple pulled RT and Sputnik’s apps from its global App Stores following a request by Ukrainian vice prime minister Mykhailo Fedorov.
That said, YouTube’s wording suggests it may be going further than barring the six (in total) RT and Sputnik entities the EU has sanctioned — as the company writes that it is now “blocking access to YouTube channels associated with Russian state-funded media globally”, the report said.
While the expanded YouTube blocks on Russian state media are “effective immediately”, per an update to the policy the platform just tweeted out, it also warns it may take time for the change to take effect — writing that “we expect our systems to take time to ramp up”.
In another new step, YouTube said it will be carrying out Ukraine-focused enforcement of certain existing policies from its Community Guidelines — which prohibit content that denies, minimises or trivialises “well-documented violent events”.