YouTube to Remove Videos ‘Denying, Minimizing or Trivializing’ Ukraine Invasion

More than 15,000 videos were found violating platform policies

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YouTube said Friday that it will step up efforts to remove videos denying or trivializing the invasion in Ukraine, adding to its restrictions on Russian state-funded media and channels.

Google-owned YouTube has already blocked state media and restricted monetization in Russia on its platform, which prevents Russian creators from earning on YouTube. Many platforms have done the same, halting ad sales and restricting Russian media outlets and channels on their networks as the escalation in Ukraine continues this month.

YouTube will also block access to channels associated with Russian state-funded media globally, expanding from the previous block across Europe. The change is immediate, and the company said it has already removed more than 1,000 channels and more than 15,000 videos for violating policies around hate speech, misinformation and graphic content.

“Our Community Guidelines prohibit content denying, minimizing or trivializing well-documented violent events. We are now removing content about Russia’s invasion in Ukraine that violates this policy,” YouTube said on Twitter.

Social platforms from Facebook to TikTok have continued cracking down on Russian media, but the country has responded by blocking Facebook and Instagram this month. Russia’s internet censor agency Roskomnadzor said on Friday it plans to block access to Instagram after the company made exceptions a day earlier to allow content about violence against Russians.