The company described the move as “unprecedented”.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, YouTube has so far removed more than 70,000 videos of the conflict, The Guardian reported. The company said it has removed many of the videos for violating its major violent events policy, which prohibits content creators from denying or trivializing events such as invasion.
YouTube did not break down the enforcement measures, but noted that it had suspended about 9,000 channels, including one related to pro-Kremlin journalist Vladimir Solovyov. Some of the videos YouTube has downloaded violated the company’s guidelines, referring to the invasion as a “release mission.”
“We have a policy on major violent events, and this applies to things like denying major violent events: everything from the Holocaust to Sandy Hook. And, of course, what is happening in Ukraine is a major violent event, “Neal Mohan, YouTube product director, told The Guardian. “And so we used this policy to take unprecedented action.”
Youtube takes care of the content on the platform
As a result of some of its actions, YouTube has seen a significant increase in the number of people in Ukraine, Poland and Russia consuming “authoritarian” content about the conflict. In Ukraine, for example, news of the invasion generated more than 40 million views. “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, credible information on YouTube,” Mohan said.
The move highlights the key role that services such as YouTube play in preventing the spread of misinformation online. In Russia alone, YouTube has over 90 million users, making it the largest video sharing platform in the country. The company’s actions against state-sponsored networks such as RT and Sputnik have had a dramatic impact on the ability of these organizations to spread the Kremlin’s message.