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censored by Youtube, RT documentaries remain available


Media close to the Kremlin had been banned by YouTube in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but some content slipped through the cracks.

In this documentary: why the ongoing fighting in Ukraine is the consequence of the policy pursued by the West for years and how it constitutes a boon for the American defense industry.This description is that of the documentary entitled Inside Russia’s Military Operation, available on the iEarlGrey YouTube channel since November 9. It is produced by the pro-Russian media RT, as NewsGuard points outwho spotted “on over 100 different YouTube channels», more than 250 RT reports on the war in Ukraine.

Yet YouTube decided to ban Kremlin-funded media in March 2022, days after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began. At the end of February 2022, the European Union had announced that it would ban Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik, Ursula von der Leyen having affirmed that she wanted to “ban their toxic and harmful disinformation in Europe“. In France, Arcom (ex-CSA), the media regulatory body, then put an end to their broadcasting on DTT.

However, a host of small Youtube channels manage to slip under the radar of the platform’s moderators and relay these documentaries. Little followed individually, they collectively represent a potential audience of several tens of thousands of people. Most of the time, however, the RT logo is displayed on the videos, although some channels remove it for more discretion. The only exception is the iEarlGrey channel, which has 117,000 subscribers. Held by Mike Jones, a Brit living in Saint Petersburg and presented by RT as a “freelance journalist“, she relays several reports produced by RT. However, their provenance is not indicated in the description or the title of the videos. As for the famous neon green logo stamped with the two capital letters “RT”, it goes without saying that it does not appear. However, nothing is easier than to see the real provenance of these documentaries: they are all freely accessible on the Russia Today reporting site (rtd.rt.com).

85,000 videos and 9,000 channels deleted since the start of the Russian invasion

Nuclear blackmail – The bombing of the Zaporizhia power station (29,000 views); At the heart of the military operation in Russia (43,000 views); Donbass demining – Sappers risk their lives to clear the Donbass of Ukrainian mines (17,000 views)… The titles of the reports speak for themselves: it is indeed a question of covering the news of the war in Ukraine from the Russian point of view, by relaying on occasion the elements of language of the Kremlin on “the military operation in Ukraine” and no “the war“, the responsibility of the West in the conflict against a pacifist Russia but forced to take up arms, or even neo-Nazi Ukraine. Videos monetized by channels that automatically activate ads.

Questioned by NewsGuard, YouTube justifies itself by claiming to have “removed over 9,000 channels and over 85,000 war-related videos for violating our Community Guidelinessince the beginning of the war. YouTube also recently removed 18 videos from the iEarlGrey channel, including a documentary titled Fast forward to fascism viewed around 50,000 times, or even the report Donbass: I’m alive!, which ends with the following comment:NATO is the reincarnation of the Wehrmacht and the SS.»

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