YouTube pauses all monetization in Russia, blocks RT & Sputnik globally

YouTube on iPhone X
YouTube on iPhone X (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • YouTube has paused all monetization of its platform in Russia.
  • YouTube has removed the RT and Sputnik news channels globally after previously removing them in Europe.
  • More than 1,000 channels and 15,000 videos have been removed for violating YouTube's hate speech policy relating to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

YouTube has announced that it has paused all monetization in Russia while also blocking RT and Sputnik's channels worldwide.

The move, which was announced via Twitter, comes after YouTube previously blocked the Kremlin-backed channels in Europe. Now, they're blocked everywhere. YouTube also says that its "Community Guidelines prohibit content denying, minimizing or trivializing well-documented violent events." As of now, content describing Russia's invasion of Ukraine that violates that policy is being removed.

YouTube also confirmed that it has now removed more than 1,000 channels and over 15,000 videos for "violating not only our hate speech policy, but also our policies around misinformation, graphic content and more."

YouTube had already paused ads in Russia but the company today confirmed that "all of the ways to monetize" its platform have now been ceased in Russia, although the door appears to be open for that to be backtracked in the future.

Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine amid ongoing sanctions. Reports say that the App Store and iTunes purchases have been "turned off" in the country, and Apple already stopped selling its products in the country.

Inside Russia, the country has sought to ban Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook from being used by its people — likely in an attempt to closely control the news that is being consumed.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.