On Saturday, April 9, YouTube went on to block Duma TV, the channel that broadcasts from the Russian lower house of parliament. A message from the service stated how ‘Duma channel’ had been “terminated for violation of YouTube’s Terms of Service.” This almost instantly drew angry responses from officials who stated that YouTube could face retaliation from them. In response, they said that the world’s most popular streaming service could witness serious restrictions.
Alphabet Inc’s video streaming service had been intensely pressurised by Roskomnadzor, the Russian communications regulator. Additionally, concerned officials were rather quick to respond to the blockage. On the Telegram messaging service, Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman of the foreign minister gave a statement. She said that YouTube appeared to have signed its very own warrant. “Save content, transfer (it) to Russian platforms. And hurry up.” Moreover, the communications watchdog claimed that they had requested the company to immediately restore the access to the parliament channel.
“The American IT company adheres to a pronounced anti-Russian position in the information war unleashed by the West against our country,” Roskomnadzor said
On the other hand, Google informed concerned authorities that they would maintain its commitment to compliance with all relevant sanctions and trade compliance laws. They had given the statement to them in an email, going on to state how they take suitable ‘actions’ when they notice an account violating their Terms of Service. They stated that teams of the organisation are closely looking into the situation for further updates and alterations.
The spokesperson of Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin stated how YouTube’s step further proved Washington’s violations of rights and freedom. He went on to say that the US hopes to gain a “monopoly on promoting information.” He further stated on Telegram how Russian authorities could not let it happen.
Among other development, Russia had already placed restrictions on other social media platforms such as Twitter, along with Meta’s Facebook and Instagram since the onset of its military assault in the country of Ukraine. Much before, Russia had also attempted to ban the messaging platform of Telegram, but removed the ban in 2020 itself. In fact, currently, it is a vastly used platform by Russian officials.
Certain Russian media cast consider this move by the streaming service as a form of submission. However, Roskomnadzor stated that it had posed as it did owing to Pavel Durov being prepared to cooperate in combating terrorism and extremism on the outlet. Pavel Durov is the app’s founder of Russian origin.