YouTube Blocks Monetization of Russia-Affiliated Channels, Including RT

YouTube has blocked Russia-affiliated channels, including news station RT, from monetizing their content on the platform.

YouTube said in a statement that the move to block them from earning money from ads is due to “extraordinary circumstances.”

Reuters reports that “videos from the affected channels also will come up less often in recommendations, YouTube spokesperson Farshad Shadloo said. 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 said in a tweet on Saturday that he contacted YouTube “to block the propagandist Russian channels — such as Russia 24, TASS, RIA Novosti,” the report states.

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“Russia received an estimated $7 million to $32 million over the two-year period ended December 2018 from ads across 26 YouTube channels it backed, digital researcher Omelas told Reuters at the time,” according to Reuters. “YouTube previously has said that it does not treat state-funded media channels that comply with its rules any differently than other channels when it comes to sharing ad revenue.”

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has also barred Russian outlets from running ads or generating revenue from ads on their platforms.

RT is the first Russian English-language news channel that brings the “Russian view on global news” 24-7.

The UK’s broadcast regulator Ofcom has also been considering banning RT from their airwaves.

In response to Ofcom, RT published op-ed blasting politicians for not protecting free speech.

“Yes, it’s confusing. Yes, there is a load of dross. And yes, there are views expressed that we might not agree with. But at least we have the option to choose, and that is the beauty, not just of the democracy we live in, but of the high regard in which we hold the right to freedom of speech,” the writer lamented. “You can say anything you like to anyone you choose, even if it upsets them. Just don’t expect everyone to agree with you. And that’s whether it’s over the dinner table or over the airwaves.”


Cassandra Fairbanks