On Sunday, February 27, Russia’s communications regulator put forward a demand for restoration to Google. The demand was for the restoring the access to the all of Russia’s state-sponsored media channels on the platform of Youtube in Ukraine. The demand came after they accused Facebook of ‘censorship.’ Along with it, other tech giant companies were also blamed for this ‘censorship’ for putting a limitation for its programs.
On the same day, Russia’s media regulator, Roskomnadzor specified that communications regular wrote a letter to the parent company of the platforms of Google ad Youtube, Alphabet Inc. In the letter, they sought the lifting of the restrictions placed on the outlets of Russia’s state media. These outlets included Sputnik, TV Zvezda and RBC.
As of Saturday February 26, Youtube had blocked all access to all Russian state-run media outlets. This was done at the request of the government of Ukraine, and was confirmed on the platform of Twitter. The Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister, Mykhailo Fedorov posted the statement on the Twitter platform in the early morning of February 27.
‘We intend to help Russians and the world to know the truth. I’ve contacted @YouTube to block the propagandist Russian channels — such as Russia 24, TASS, RIA Novosti. If they are afraid of speaking the truth, so we should stop this flow of poisonous lies,’ his tweet read.
A spokesperson from Youtube informed Axios that as a response to the request from the government, they had restricted all access to Russia Today, or RT.Along with it, a number of other Russian media channels in Ukraine. Additionally, they said that they continue monitoring all new developments, and take further suitable actions if the situation called for it. The spokesperson further specified that they Youtube would be temporarily seizing the ability of certain Youtube channels to monetise on the platform.
Youtube paralysed the ability to monetise their channels owing to the tensions in Ukraine. These essentially included several Russian channels affiliated with sanctions introduced by many countries. They added that the company is further working towards essentially reducing suggestions to these channels.
Google had announced earlier on February 26 that the company had been blocking Russian state media channels from selling advertisements. This occurred exactly a couple of hours after Google-owned Youtube announced that they would block the same state media channels from similarly selling ads globally on Youtube, or being available in Ukraine at all. Google had further removed the RT network, or Russia Today from its Play Store, specifically in Ukraine.
Apparently, Alphabet Inc. was not the sole big tech to displease Russian President Vladimir Putin. Facebook-parent, Meta also stated that they were banning Russian state media outlets from showcasing ads or continue content monetising on Facebook. Facebook’s head of security policy, Nathaniel Gleicher announced the ban on the same day Google stopped them from selling ads.
As a response, Putin had called for a block on Facebook, which was rather partial. Kremlin officials claimed that this was in reaction to the ‘censorship’ imposed by Meta on its state media.