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May 24, 2022
YouTube Temporarily Demonetizes Russian Channels And Restricts Access To Them In Ukraine

YouTube Temporarily Demonetizes Russian Channels And Restricts Access To Them In Ukraine

YouTube is temporarily suspending Russian state channels from earning ad revenue on its platform, including the Kremlin-backed news broadcaster RT, it said Saturday, following similar actions taken by Facebook parent Meta and Twitter, and the Google-owned video-sharing site is also restricting users in Ukraine from accessing the Russian channels. 

YouTube logo displayed on a smartphone (Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA … [+] Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Key Facts

Citing “extraordinary circumstances” in Ukraine, YouTube said it is pausing “several Russian channels affiliated with recent sanctions” from profiting on its platform and limiting recommendations to those channels.

YouTube said it has restricted access to Russian channels, including RT, in Ukraine in response to the Ukrainian government’s earlier request to block the “propagandist” Russian channels on the platform. 

In 2017 and 2018, Russia earned somewhere between $7 million and $32 million from ad revenues across 26 state-backed YouTube channels, Reuters reported.  

Key Background
Facebook and Instagram have moved to restrict Russian accounts from profiting on their platforms, and added labels to those accounts, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Nathaniel Gleicher, head of security policy at Meta, tweeted Friday that Meta, the parent company of Facebook, was banning Russian state media from running advertisements or generating revenue on its platforms anywhere in the world. Gleicher added it will continue to slap labels on more Kremlin-backed media accounts over the weekend. Twitter said Friday it was temporarily pausing advertisements in Ukraine and Russia to “ensure critical public safety information is elevated and ads don’t detract from it.” 

Further Reading
YouTube blocks RT, other Russian channels from generating revenue (Reuters)

RT was Russia’s answer to CNN. Now its pro-Putin spin on Ukraine is sparking new outrage. (Washington Post)

Russia Restricts Facebook, Claims It Censored Kremlin-Backed Media Accounts (Forbes)

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