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YouTube Restricts Russian Channels From Monetising on Ukraine’s Invasion

YouTube has barred Russian channels from earning ad revenue from the video streaming platform, amidst Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24.


The Google-owned platform said that it was “pausing a number of channels’ ability to monetise on YouTube, including several Russian channels affiliated with recent sanctions,” referring to the recent economic curbs that countries like the US, UK, France, and Germany have levied on Russia.

YouTube spokesperson Farshad Shadloo said that videos from the affected channels will also feature low on recommendations on the site. He added that the Russian media agency RT and several other channels would no longer be accessible in Ukraine, owing to a request from the Ukrainian government.

While the streaming platform has declined to disclose the currently barred channels, Ukraine’s Digital Transformation Minister Mykhailo Fedorov tweeted on Saturday, urging YouTube to block “propagandist Russian channels — such as Russia 24, TASS, RIA Novosti.”

Russia’s military incursion in Ukraine has resulted in the mass migration of Ukrainian population to other countries. The three-pronged attack has garnered global criticism with other social media platforms such Twitter and Facebook also imposing curbs on Russia.

Fedorov had earlier tweeted about Twitter’s decision to “to block Russians the opportunity to register new accounts in Russian Federation.”

Meta, or erstwhile Facebook, also announced, ‘We are now prohibiting Russian state media from running ads or monetising on our platform anywhere in the world. We also continue to apply labels to additional Russian state media,” according to Nathaniel Gleicher, the company’s head of security policy.

The social media platform which had earlier come under fire for spreading hate-speech and misinformation, noted that it has “temporarily removed the ability to view and search the “Friends” list for Facebook accounts in Ukraine to help protect people from being targeted.”

Restrictions have also trickled into Instagram, where Ukrainian users now have privacy and an account security alert system with guidelines on incorporating ways to protect one’s account.


In a bid to isolate Russia from the world, Fedorov has also requested Netflix to block the Russian Federation’s access to the streaming platform and shut off Russian content. The OTT platform is yet to respond to the appeal.

UPDATE: Russian state communications regulator Roskomnadzor, on Sunday, demanded that the restrictions imposed on the Russian-language YouTube channels of media outlets be removed, Reuters has reported. The organisation has written to Google, which owns YouTube, regarding the same.