YouTube removed 70,000 videos in Ukraine-related enforcement action

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, YouTube has taken down more than 70,000 videos so far related to the conflict, reported on Sunday. The company told Guardians they removed many videos for violating the major violent events policy. This policy prohibits content creators from rejecting or trivializing events such as aggression.

YouTube did not circumvent the enforcement action but noted that it had suspended about 9,000 channels during the crackdown, including one related to pro-Kremlin journalist Vladimir Solovyov. Some of the videos that YouTube took down violated the company’s guidelines by referring to the invasion as a “liberation mission.”

“We have a policy on major violent events, and that policy applies to things like denying major violent events: everything from the Holocaust to Sandy Hook. And of course, what’s happening in Ukraine is a major violent event,” said Neal Mohan, YouTube’s product manager. Guardians. “And so we used that policy to take unprecedented action.”

Partly as a result of its actions, YouTube has seen a significant increase in the number of people in Ukraine, Poland, and Russia using “authoritative” content about the conflict. In Ukraine, for example, news content about the invasion attracted more than 40 million views. “The first and perhaps most important responsibility is to make sure that people looking for information about this event can get reliable, high-quality, accurate information on YouTube,” said Mohan. Guardians.

The move underscores the important role services like YouTube play in preventing misinformation from spreading online. In Russia alone, YouTube has more than 90 million users, making it the largest video sharing platform in the country. Corporate actions against state-sponsored networks such as had a significant impact on those organizations’ ability to disseminate the Kremlin’s message.

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