After Facebook and Instagram, Google-owned YouTube on Tuesday said it has also blocked Russian news outlets RT (formerly Russia Today) and Sputnik across Europe in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Alphabet-owned company confirmed the news on Twitter.
“Due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, we’re blocking YouTube channels connected to RT and Sputnik across Europe, effective immediately. It’ll take time for our systems to fully ramp up. Our teams continue to monitor the situation around the clock to take swift action,” it posted.
Ursula von der Leyen, The president of the EU Commission, said the bloc would ban “the Kremlin’s media machine.
“The state-owned Russia Today and Sputnik, and their subsidiaries, will no longer be able to spread their lies to justify Putin’s war. We are developing tools to ban their toxic and harmful disinformation in Europe,” she said.
Earlier, Meta (formerly Facebook) blocked Russian state media outlets RT and Sputnik across the European Union.
RT and Sputnik pages aren’t visible in the EU on Facebook and Instagram any more.
“We have received requests from a number of Governments and the EU to take further steps in relation to Russian state controlled media,” Nick Clegg, president of global affairs at Meta, said on Twitter.
“Given the exceptional nature of the current situation, we will be restricting access to RT and Sputnik across the EU at this time,” he posted late on Monday.
The social network has also blocked Russian state media from advertising on the platform.
Meta earlier blocked access to several Russian state-controlled accounts in Ukraine. The social network said it was also reviewing other governments’ requests to restrict access to these accounts in their countries.
Hit by partial restrictions, Meta (formerly Facebook) had prohibited Russian state media from running ads or monetising on its platform anywhere in the world.
Meta has also taken down a network for targeting people in Ukraine who posed as news editors, aviation engineers and authors to spread misinformation around the Russian invasion across social media platforms.
The people ran websites posing as independent news entities and created fake personas across social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Telegram and also Russian Odnoklassniki and VK apps, the company said.
This operation ran a handful of websites masquerading as independent news outlets, publishing claims about the West betraying Ukraine and Ukraine being a failed state.