Since the beginning of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the Russian President has blocked independent media in the country to control information about the war while penalising those who disagree with the government’s narrative of the invasion. He’s also gone after social media companies in the United States. For example, Russia banned Facebook and Instagram from Meta Platforms on Monday, referring to them as “extremist” groups, thereby criminalising them. The performance of Twitter’s app has also been slowed by the government.

As tensions with Ukraine continue to rise, Google, one of the largest American corporations working in Russia, may lose one of its most essential footholds in the country. Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., has shut down its advertising business in Russia while maintaining its popular consumer services. While Google has not officially closed its office in Russia, the company has been secretly relocating its employees out of the country in recent weeks.

According to the document, YouTube banned Russia’s navy from uploading for seven days after the ministry branded its invasion of Ukraine in two films, which the company removed. According to the document, the decision to remove the movies was raised to YouTube’s government management. In an email, the company stated, “Our standards prohibit anything denying, minimising, or trivialising well-documented violent events, including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”

On March 11, YouTube said it had taken down more than 1,000 channels linked to the Ukraine invasion that violated its content regulations. According to one individual involved with the negotiations, YouTube executives were privately concerned that removing RT and other state-sponsored networks which might result in a ban in the nation. According to state-run news agency RIA Novosti, Russia may block YouTube this week.

The popularity of YouTube may be causing Russian officials to think twice about taking it down. According to Brooking, the country’s new strict media rules against internal critics may achieve the aims of stifling dissent as effectively as an outright ban of the video site. He stated, “That may be extremely helpful in policing YouTube.”

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