YouTube puts Russia’s channels on de-monetised black list

Russia's RT news will no longer reap financial rewards for spreading Putin's propaganda. <i>Photo: Getty</i>

Russia's RT news will no longer reap financial rewards for spreading Putin's propaganda. Photo: Getty

YouTube has barred Russian state-owned media outlet RT and other Russian channels from receiving money for advertisements that run with their videos, similar to a move by Facebook, after the invasion of Ukraine.Citing “extraordinary circumstances”, YouTube said in a statement it was “pausing a number of channels’ ability to monetise on YouTube, including several Russian channels affiliated with recent sanctions”.Ad placement is largely controlled by YouTube.

Videos from the affected channels also will come up less often in recommendations, YouTube spokesperson Farshad Shadloo said on Saturday.

He added that RT and several other channels would no longer be accessible in Ukraine due to “a government request”.

Ukraine Digital Minister Mykhailo Fedorov tweeted earlier on Saturday that he contacted YouTube “to block the propagandist Russian channels — such as Russia 24, TASS, RIA Novosti”.

RT did not immediately respond to a request for comment. YouTube did not name the other channels it had restricted.

For years, politicians and some users have called on YouTube, which is owned by Alphabet’s Google, to take greater action against channels with ties to the Russian government out of concern that they spread misinformation and should not profit from that.

Russia received an estimated $US7 million ($9.7 million) to $US32 million ($44 million) in the two-year period ending December 2018 from ads across 26 YouTube channels it backed, digital researcher Omelas has said.

YouTube previously has said that it did not treat state-funded media channels that complied with its rules any differently than other channels when it came to sharing ad revenue.


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