Russian-Run RT News, Sputnik Channels Still on YouTube in US as Sites Are Banned From Social Media, TV in EU
RT and Sputnik banned from all media platforms in Europe, but the Russian-backed outlets are still available in the U.S. on YouTube.
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.
But RT and Sputnik both appeared to still be available in the U.S. on YouTube as of Wednesday afternoon.
The sanction means all European Union operators are prohibited from broadcasting or disseminating any RT and Sputnik content, including on 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 said in a statement posted 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.
As of Wednesday afternoon, RT was still uploading videos to its YouTube channel. Videos noted above their titles that "RT is funded in whole or in part by the Russian government," with a link to RT's Wikipedia page. As of Wednesday, Sputnik's most recent video was uploaded eight days earlier.
Many European leaders argue the two outlets are mouthpieces for Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin.
Canadian cable giants have also announced that RT has been dropped from its TV providers.
Facebook also said it would restrict access to RT and Sputnik on its platforms across 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. Our teams continue to monitor the situation around the clock to take swift action," Google Europe said in a Twitter statement.
For other coverage of the Ukraine Crisis, please visit CBS News.
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