Google has officially blocked the Duma TV channel on YouTube, effectively ending streaming on the platform for the lower house of parliament in Russia. In fact, the channel has been completely “terminated” based on reports stemming from the action.
In a statement, Google has said that the account violates YouTube Terms of Service. And that blocking the channel outright was the immediate appropriate action. Teams at Google are, the company says, actively monitoring the situation for “updates and changes” that may happen. But the search giant also pointed to its commitment to complying with sanctions imposed by the US. And, in this case, that includes sanctions against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.
How is Russia responding to YouTube and Google blocking its channel?
Now, Russia and Google have been back and forth since sanctions began. The country has already taken retaliatory action against Google, in the past. For instance, Russia blocked Google News in late March over what it says are “inauthentic publications” on the service.
Following the blocking of the YouTube channel for Duma TV, Russian officials now claim that YouTube has “signed its own warrant.” It isn’t immediately clear what actions Russia will take in response. But Russian telecom regulator Roskomnadzor has demanded that Google restore Duma TV. Pronouncing the removal as “anti-Russian” amid an “information war” that it says the West has started against the region.
The Google-associated service could ultimately become the latest in a string of US companies restricted by Russian authorities as well. Although no action has been taken as of this writing, Russia has already introduced its own replacement for the Google Play Store in recent weeks. And it could potentially block YouTube entirely or create its own replacement platform.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other apps and companies based in the US have faced similar restrictions. Particularly as the war in Ukraine drags on and sanctions against Russia mount.