Youtube blocks Russian parliament channel for violating terms of serviceLeigh Mc Gowranon April 11, 2022 at 08:19 Silicon RepublicSilicon Republic

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Online video platform Youtube has blocked Duma TV, a channel that shares broadcasts from Russia’s lower house of parliament, leading to quick responses from Russian officials and regulators.

The Google-owned platform said on Saturday 9 April that the channel had been “terminated for a violation of YouTube’s Terms of Service”, Reuters reported.

This is not the first time Google and Russia have had friction amid the invasion of Ukraine. Last month, the tech giant’s news service was banned by the Russian communications regulator for “unreliable” information on the invasion.

In response to Duma TV being terminated, foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Telegram that Youtube “has signed its own warrant”, Reuters reported.

Russia’s communications regulator, Roskomnadzor, has requested that the parliamentary channel is restored immediately. Google told Reuters that it is committed to all trade compliance laws.

“If we find that an account violates our Terms of Service, we take appropriate action,” Google told Reuters. “Our teams are closely monitoring the situation for any updates and changes.”

The response from Russian officials suggests Youtube could become the latest platform to face restrictions within the country. Last month, Roskomnadzor accused Youtube of “spreading threats against citizens of the Russian Federation”, VOA reported.

Last week, the Russian regulator said it is taking steps to punish Google over fake images being spread through Youtube. The regulator claimed Youtube was “one of the key platforms” spreading fake images on the invasion of Ukraine, Reuters reported.

Last month, Instagram was banned in Russia, as a response to Meta’s decision to allow Facebook and Instagram users in Ukraine to call for violence against Russia in the context of the ongoing invasion.

Earlier in March, access to Twitter and Facebook was blocked by regulators in Russia after the platforms introduced restrictions on Russian media organisations such as RT and Sputnik.

At the start of March, Google was one of many global tech players that took measures against Russia in response to the invasion of Ukraine. The tech giant stopped selling online advertising in Russia, which applied to ads on Search, YouTube and outside publishing partners.

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