The Russian state-controlled media outlets RT and Sputnik have been banned by the European Union to stop false information about Russian’s invasion of Ukraine, an unprecedented move that took effect Wednesday, officials said.
This sanction prohibits all European Union operators from broadcasting or disseminating any RT content or Sputnik content via social media platforms.
YouTube’s parent company said Tuesday said it will block the outlets across Europe, including Britain, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, we’re blocking YouTube channels connected to RT and Sputnik across Europe, effective immediately,”Google Europe posted a statement on Twitter. “It’ll take time for our systems to fully ramp up. Our teams continue to monitor the situation around the clock to take swift action.”
YouTube did not respond to Inside Edition Digital’s request for comment Wednesday about why the Russian-controlled sites’ channels were still available in the U.S.
RT continued uploading videos to YouTube on Wednesday afternoon. The titles of the videos are highlighted above. “RT is funded in whole or in part by the Russian government,”With a link to RT’s Wikipedia page. Sputnik’s last video was uploaded eight days ago as of Wednesday.
Many European leaders believe the outlets are mouthpieces of Russian President Vladimir Putin or the Kremlin.
Canadian cable companies have announced that RT was dropped from their TV providers.
Facebook also stated that it will restrict access to RT, Sputnik and other platforms on its platforms throughout the European Union.
European Union President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement, “In this time of war, words matter. We are witnessing massive propaganda and disinformation over this outrageous attack on a free and independent country. We will not let Kremlin apologists pour their toxic lies justifying Putin’s war or sow the seeds of division in our Union.”
Meanwhile, Google followed Apple’s lead and pulled the European apps of RT and Sputnik from its mobile app store, Play Store.
“Consistent with the work we’ve described to reduce recommendations, pause monetization, and limit the reach of Russian state-funded media, mobile apps for Russian news channels RT and Sputnik are no longer available on the Play Store across Europe. Google Europe released a statement via Twitter that said its teams were continuing to monitor the situation and take swift action.