- YouTube removed 70,000 videos and 9,000 channels relating to the Ukraine war, The Guardian said.
- Many videos broke its major violent events policy, which prohibits the denial of the invasion.
- With 90 million users in Russia, YouTube is the largest video-sharing site in the country.
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YouTube has deleted more than 70,000 videos and 9,000 channels related to the war in Ukraine for breaking content guidelines, The Guardian reported on Sunday.
Many of the videos broke the platform’s major violent events policy, which prohibits creators from denying or trivialising events such as the invasion of Ukraine, the outlet said.
“We have a major violent events policy, and that applies to things like denial of major violent events: everything from the Holocaust to Sandy Hook. And of course, what’s happening in Ukraine is a major violent event,” YouTube’s chief product officer Neal Mohan told The Guardian. “And so we’ve used that policy to take unprecedented action.”
YouTube did not provide a breakdown of the deleted videos and channels, but Mohan said many of them were “narratives that are coming from the Russian government or Russian actors on behalf of the Russian government.”
Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, YouTube has removed videos that described the war as a “liberation mission,” as well as a channel belonging to the pro-Kremlin journalist Vladimir Solovyov, The Guardian said.
With Russia banning the likes of Facebook and Instagram, YouTube remains one of the only major social media platforms still operating in the country that is not Russia-owned. According to Reuters, there are an estimated 90 million YouTube users in Russia, making it the largest video-sharing site in the country.
“YouTube is a place where Russian citizens can get uncensored information about the war, including from many of the same authoritative channels that we all have access to outside of the country. We remain an important platform for Russian citizens themselves as this crisis continues to evolve,” Mohan told The Guardian.
Insider has reached out to YouTube for comment.