Russia has threatened to block YouTube, as the Kremlin called for “zero tolerance” towards the video hosting giant. The move comes after YouTube removed Russian state-backed broadcaster RT’s German-language channels from its platform.
On Tuesday, the online video company, owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc, deleted RT’s German-language channels, saying they had breached its COVID-19 misinformation policy.
YouTube said on Wednesday that it would block all anti-vaccine content, moving beyond COVID-19 to include content that alleges vaccines cause chronic health effects or contains misinformation on the substances in vaccines.
Russia announced it was considering retaliating against German media and accused YouTube of “unprecedented information aggression.”
Roskomnadzor, the Russian state communications regulator, said it had written to Google and demanded that the YouTube restrictions on the RT channels be lifted. Russia could partially or fully restrict access to YouTube if it failed to comply, it added.
Google declined to comment on the matter, according to Reuters.
Russia could impose measures to force YouTube to comply with its laws, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, adding that the law appeared to have been broken in this case.
“There should certainly be zero tolerance for this kind of breaking of the law,” he said.
Russia’s foreign ministry said it would draw up “a proposal to develop and take retaliatory measures against the YouTube hosting service and the German media.”
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