Access to YouTube in Russia may be blocked in the near future

(ORDO NEWS) — So far, this is not an official statement, but information from sources close to Roskomnadzor. However, all the prerequisites for blocking YouTube in Russia – similar stories from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – are.

The American video hosting YouTube may face blocking in Russia in the very next few days, before the end of the week, or even today. RIA Novosti writes about this , citing its own source close to Roskomnadzor.

“I know that he should have been blocked that week, but Meta (Instagram blocking) happened, and I’m sure that the blocking was simply postponed so that it wasn’t all at once,” the agency’s source said.

The fact that YouTube is likely to suffer the same fate as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram is no secret: the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Communications has already demanded that Google LLC stop spreading threats against Russian citizens on video hosting and “to stop broadcasting anti-Russian commercials as soon as possible”, which, according to the agency, contain calls to disable the railway communications of Russia and Belarus.

In addition, YouTube blocked the accounts of many media outlets: RIA Novosti, Sputnik, RBC, NTV, the Moscow-24 and Spas TV channels, and so on, and also restricted access to the Soviet Television. Gosteleradiofond” and “Soviet Radio. Gosteleradiofond.

The video hosting management attributed this to “principles” forbidding the “downplaying” of documented “violent events” and the decision to ban access to YouTube channels of media outlets associated with the Russian state.

However, not everyone agrees with such a policy: for example, earlier the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, the world-famous billionaire Elon Musk refused to block Russian official media in the Starlink network. “We will not do this unless at gunpoint,” the entrepreneur wrote on his Twitter page, adding that he is “a supporter of an absolute approach to the concept of free speech.”

The struggle of the authorities with Western social networks has been going on for a long time: on March 4, Roskomnadzor decided to block Twitter, primarily for spreading fakes about the military operation in Ukraine (and for the calls for riots, extremist activities and participation in illegal mass events contained in the posts).

On the same day, Russian residents were deprived of access to Facebook: this step was taken as a response to restricting access to Russian media accounts and resources – since October 2020, 26 such cases of “discrimination” have been identified.

At the beginning of this week, the most popular social network Instagram was blocked – the number of Russian users there exceeded 61 million people.

However, the reason was not fakes (of which there are probably a lot on Instagram), but the permission of Meta Platforms to publish messages calling for violence against the military participating in the special operation in Ukraine from Russia.

This caused a public outcry, especially since before the official statement, Reuters, citing internal correspondence, Meta reported: the green light was given to calls for violence against all Russians, as well as for the death of Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko. However, in the company of Mark Zuckerberg, the media did not subsequently confirm the information.

The meeting, which will consider the request of the Prosecutor General’s Office to “ban the activities of the organization on the grounds of carrying out extremist activities” (that is, Meta), will be held on March 21.


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