YouTube blocks Russian Duma channel

The US giant video sharing site, YouTube, has blocked the Russian Duma parliament TV channel from the American social media platform, accusing the Russian news medium of violating the company’s “terms of service” in regard to the conflict in Ukraine.

Alphabet- Google Company, YouTube’s mother company, wrote an email to Reuters news agency on Saturday, stating that the American media firm was committed to compliance with all applicable sanctions and trade compliance laws that had been imposed against Russia by the US government.

The vastly world popular video sharing platform claimed that the Russian TV channel had been “terminated for a violation of YouTube’s Terms of Service”. “If we find that an account violates our Terms of Service, we take appropriate action. Our teams are closely monitoring the situation for any updates and changes.”

Russian officials swiftly condemned the American video site for its anti-Russian policy, warning of possible reprisals against it.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned, “YouTube has sealed its fate”.

She urged Russian users to transfer their content from YouTube to Russian social media platforms. “And hurry up.”

Roskomnadzor, Russia’s communications watchdog, said it had asked the giant US social media platform to restore access to the Duma channel immediately.

“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 Thursday, Roskomnadzor had threatened to ban Google’s advertisements in Russia, accusing YouTube of spreading “fake news” about Russia’s special operation in Ukraine’s Donbas. YouTube had committed “numerous violations” of Russian legislation and was “one of the key platforms distributing fake news about the course of the special military operation in Ukraine, discrediting the armed forces of Russia”.

Roskomnadzor said it had decided to introduce punitive measures against YouTube which could include “a ban on distribution of advertising for Google LLC and its information resources”.

In tone with other officials, spokesman for Russia’s Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, described YouTube’s ban on Duma parliament TV as a violation of human rights.

“The USA wants to obtain a monopoly on promoting information. We cannot allow it,” Volodin said on Telegram.

Russia says the Duma channel, which broadcasts parliamentary debates and interviews with lawmakers, has more than 145,000 subscribers.

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