Russian state media outlets will be barred from running advertisements or otherwise monetizing their material on any platform controlled by Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, the company announced Friday evening.
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Meanwhile, YouTube has prohibited Russian state media outlet RT from entering Ukraine and has suspended its ability to monetise its content on the platform globally, the video platform announced on Saturday.
Devon Kearns, a Meta representative, told CNN reporters that the restriction applies not only to Facebook but also to Instagram.
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According to CNN, the move to limit RT and several other Russian stations comes after the Ukrainian government urged YouTube to block access from within the nation.
YouTube spokesperson Ivy Choi explained the company’s actions in a statement, citing “extraordinary circumstances in Ukraine.”
Meta issued a blog post on Saturday explaining the efforts it has taken to keep Ukrainians safe. The firm stated that it has enabled Ukrainian users to “freeze” their Facebook profiles, prohibiting strangers from downloading a person’s profile photo or viewing the person’s posts. The company also stated that it will limit the ability to look through a user’s friends list.
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“In light of extraordinary circumstances in Ukraine, we’re taking a number of actions,” Choi said. “We’re pausing a number of channels’ ability to monetize on YouTube, including several Russian channels affiliated with recent sanctions. We will be significantly limiting recommendations to these channels. And in response to a government request, we’ve restricted access to RT and a number of other channels in Ukraine. We will continue to monitor new developments and may take further actions.”
On Instagram, Ukrainian users are receiving alerts reminding them that they can make their profiles private, and some users are receiving notifications reminding them that they can enable two-factor authentication and other security precautions.
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Meta has extended its regional independent fact-checking efforts and is “working to provide additional financial support to Ukrainian fact-checking partners,” according to the company.
YouTube stated that it has eliminated hundreds of channels and thousands of videos that broke its regulations in recent days, including a number of channels that the firm claimed were participating in coordinated deceit.
YouTube’s decision comes after considerable outcry from journalists, activists, and even a member of Congress who observed the platform running advertising against RT material.
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In a letter to YouTube’s parent company Alphabet on Friday, Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner stated that his staff was able to find instances of RT’s monetization on YouTube, and that he had informed the Departments of Justice and Treasury about a report about YouTube allowing sanctioned entities to monetize on YouTube as well.