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YouTube is pausing Russian affiliated channels’ ability to monetize on the video platform, the company announced on Saturday.
In a statement, YouTube announced it would be suspending several channels’ ability to collect ad revenue, including the state-funded media outlet RT. The move comes just days after Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine on Thursday.
“In light of extraordinary circumstances in Ukraine … we’re pausing a number of channels’ ability to monetize on YouTube, including several Russian channels affiliated with recent sanctions,” YouTube said in the statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.
Additionally, videos from the blocked channels will be significantly limited often in recommendations. Following a request from the Ukrainian government, RT and the other channels that have had their ad revenue paused are now no longer be accessible in Ukraine. That request, from Ukraine’s minister of culture Oleksandr Tkachenko, was shared to Twitter on Saturday.
Minister of Culture and Information Policy of #Ukraine Alexander Tkachenko prepared a letter to the management of YouTube with a request to ban #Russian propagandists. pic.twitter.com/Wqfbv3oxUV
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) February 26, 2022
The news follows a similar move from Meta on Friday, which announced it is “now prohibiting Russian state media from running ads or monetizing on our platform anywhere in the world,” according to a Twitter statement from security policy head Nathaniel Gleicher.
“We also continue to apply labels to additional Russian state media. These changes have already begun rolling out and will continue into the weekend,” he continued.
In addition to blocking ads and monetization abilities for Russian state media, to assist with users being targeted, Meta is rolling out locked profiles in Ukraine, has temporarily removed the ability to view and search the “Friends” list for Facebook accounts in Ukraine, and is taking additional safety measures for its Messenger app and the WhatsApp platform that establish or expand existing disappearing message abilities.
Gleicher said that when it comes to Instagram, it is deploying privacy and account security alerts tied to password security and two-factor authentication in Ukraine. Earlier in the week, Meta created an operations center with experts from across the company, including native Russian and Ukrainian speakers, who are monitoring and responding to issues.
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