The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs decided to appeal to the “competent departments of the Russian Federation” with a proposal to develop and take response measures against YouTube and the German media. The Foreign Ministry’s statement was published on the official website of the department after the YouTube administration blocked the channel of the German edition of RT – RT DE, as well as the second channel – Der Fehlende Part (DFP) “beyond recovery.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry called the blocking of RT DE an “unprecedented information aggression” by YouTube, which was committed “with the obvious connivance, if not at the insistence of the German side.”
According to the Russian ministry, the blocking of two YouTube channels is “an obvious manifestation of censorship and suppression of freedom of expression”, while attempts by the “Internet giant to link such egregious actions with some abstract” violations of the internal rules of the community “” as justification “cannot be considered and they won’t. ”
Google previously explained “Interfax” that the ban was imposed because of “false information about the coronavirus infection COVID-19”, which violates the rules of the platform. The company explained that RT DE received a warning for uploading content that violates these rules, which led to “the suspension of their rights to publish the video.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry linked the blocking of RT DE on YouTube with a certain “plan” of the German authorities.
“The date of the plan’s implementation (I don’t want to think that we are talking about Infobarbarossa), apparently, was chosen with special cynicism, given that September 28 is the International Day of Universal Access to Information,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
According to the department, the adoption of reciprocal symmetric measures against the German media in Russia, “moreover, they have been repeatedly convicted of interfering in the internal affairs of our country, seems not only appropriate, but also necessary.”
“Following the consideration of the appeal of the RT TV channel with a request for protection in connection with discrimination, it was decided to appeal to the competent departments of the Russian Federation with a proposal to develop and adopt retaliatory measures against YouTube hosting and German media,” the statement says.
The blocking of two German-language projects by RT became known on the evening of September 28. RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan called the blocking of channels “a real media war declared by the state of Germany against the state of Russia.”
“I really expect that my native state, without delay, will ban Deutsche Welle and other German media outlets in Russia, as well as close the ARD and ZDF offices. I am already silent about the sanctions on YouTube itself. At least out of self-respect, we must do this,” She said.
The RT channel is part of the Rossiya Segodnya media holding, the main focus of which is Russian news and the propaganda of the Russian agenda for other countries. Russia Today is one of the top 10 Russian recipients of subsidies: from 2018 to 2020, the holding received 20.4 billion rubles.
In October 2020, Twitter labeled RT’s US election coverage as controversial and misleading. To view the report, it was necessary to specially press the “View” button. Roskomnadzor after that appealed on Twitter demanding to lift restrictions on the channel’s reporting and called the actions of the social network “an act of censorship that violates the principles of ensuring the free flow of information and unhindered access to it.”