YouTube has hit hard videos and channels related to the Russia-Ukraine crisis, and to date has downloaded more than 70,000 videos and 9,000 channels for violating the platform’s content guidelines.

Whenever it seems that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is coming to an end, something happens to start the conflict anew. Russia’s renewed attack on the Donbass and Mykolayiv districts has led Kyiv to repeat its uncompromising stance and rule out any chance of a ceasefire or territorial concessions.

The conflict also did not remain confined to the ground and found its way on the Internet. Western companies such as Apple have either withheld operations, sales or services in the country. Services such as YouTube and Google have banned channels related to Russian state media (incl Russia Today and Sputnik).

In response, Russia has banned social media giants such as Facebook and Instagram, calling their parent company Meta “extremist.” He also had limited access to Twitter, whose future it is uncertain the same.

Platforms such as YouTube have been crucial in reporting on the latest news of the Russian invasion, and the content of the conflict on the platform has received more than 40 million views in Ukraine alone. Several of the removed videos appear to have violated YouTube’s policy on violent events and downplayed the event, calling it a “liberation mission.”

We do not know exactly what content and channels have been removed so far, but they appear to include one related to pro-Kremlin journalist Vladimir Solovyov. “You can imagine that a lot of that is the stories that come from the Russian government or Russian actors on behalf of the Russian government,” said Neil Mohan, YouTube’s chief product officer.

Surprisingly, YouTube was not closed in Russia, even as the country continued its widespread repression of Western media and services. Today, the platform has a user base of 90 million users and remains the largest video-sharing site in the country, even after it stopped advertising on its platform there and continued to provide uncensored information about the war to Russian citizens.

“The first and probably most important responsibility is to make sure that people who are looking for information about this event can get accurate, high-quality and reliable information on YouTube,” Mohan said. “Consumption of reputable channels on our platform has grown significantly, of course in Ukraine, but also in countries around Ukraine, Poland, and also in Russia itself.

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