This file photo taken on October 12, 2021, shows the Youtube logo on a smartphone screen in Moscow, Russia. AFP

WASHINGTON — YouTube announced on Saturday it would block certain Russian channels from monetizing their videos, among other restrictions, due to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

“In light of extraordinary circumstances in Ukraine, we’re taking a number of actions,” a spokesperson for the Google subsidiary said in a statement Saturday.

“Our teams have started to pause the ability for certain channels to monetize on YouTube, including RT’s YouTube channels globally,” the spokesperson said, referring to the Russian state-funded news outlet.

YouTube channels earn money through ads that appear when users watch their videos.

Facebook also announced on Friday it would ban Russian state media from running ads and monetizing through its platform.

Nations around the globe issued broad sanctions against Russian businesses, banks and officials after Moscow invaded Ukraine on Thursday.

“As always, our teams are continuing to monitor closely for new developments, including evaluating what any new sanctions and export controls may mean for YouTube,” the platform’s spokesperson said.

In addition to restricting monetization, YouTube added it would limit recommendations to the same channels and is “continuing to actively surface authoritative news content” in Russia- and Ukraine-related search results.

Videos from RT and a number of other channels will also be “restricted” by YouTube, the company said.

At the beginning of February, Germany banned RT, which prompted Russia to close the Moscow bureau of German media outlet Deutsche-Welle.

RT, created in 2005 under the name “Russia Today,” is regularly accused by Western authorities of contributing to disinformation.

YouTube noted that over the past few days it has removed hundreds of channels, including some for “coordinated deceptive practices,” the term the company uses for disinformation.


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