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YouTube announces an immediate block on Russian state-funded media channels globally

YouTube announces an immediate block on Russian state-funded media channels globally
By Reuters

YouTube is immediately blocking access around the world to channels associated with Russian state-funded media, it said on Friday, citing a policy barring content that denies, minimises or trivialises well-documented violent events.

The world's most used video streaming service, which is owned by Alphabet Inc's Google, said Russia's invasion of Ukraine now fell under its violent events policy and violating material would be removed.

YouTube spokesman Farshad Shadloo said the blocking of the Russian outlets was in line with that policy.

Previously, YouTube had blocked leading Russia state-backed channels RT and Sputnik across Europe.

Russian state media have called restrictions placed on them by distributors, which include app stores and other social media services, unjustified censorship.

YouTube did not immediately respond to a request for comment on which and how many channels had been blocked globally, or if they ever would be restored.

Workers across Google had been urging YouTube to take additional punitive measures against Russian channels, accusing them of spreading false narratives about the Ukrainian leadership and civilian deaths during the war, according to three employees at the company.