The Russia-Ukraine war is still underway and is a hotspot for spreading falsified information. YouTube recently revealed that it had removed over 70,000 videos related to the conflict from its platform. These videos violated YouTube policies and contained/promoted misinformation.
YouTube recently revealed to the Guardian that there is a surge of propaganda-infused videos. YouTube’s Chief Product Officer highlighted the measures they have taken to curb the rise of such videos.
Why did YouTube take down 70000 videos?
“We have a major violent events policy, and that applies to things like denial of major violent events: everything from the Holocaust to Sandy Hook. And of course, what’s happening in Ukraine is a major violent event,” Neal Mohan told The Guardian.
The Russian side has been promoting the invasion as a liberation mission. Despite the huge loss of life and property in Ukraine, certain pro-Russian groups presented it as an absolute necessity. Moreover, pro-Kremlin journalist Vladimir Solovyov is among the individuals who used YouTube to present the Russian invasion of Ukraine as liberation.
YouTube’s take on Russia’s Ukraine conflict is commendable. The platform took down 70000 videos emanating from 9000 YouTube channels. Any video which tried to brand the invasion as a necessity received the wrath of YouTube. Interestingly, YouTube is the only social platform active in Russia even now. Facebook, Instagram, and other popular social platforms have been blocked by the country.
The rise of propaganda/misinformation videos
Ever since the invasion began, YouTube and other social channels have seen a rise in the need for related content. Alongside real journalism, numerous channels and accounts began to spread lies and favor Putin’s actions.
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Russia banned most social platforms because many Russian citizens began doubting Putin’s actions. However, YouTube is still up and running and isn’t playing nice with those covering up for Russia’s actions.
Ukrainian citizens rely on YouTube as a source of reliable content to know the existing state of affairs. “The first and probably most paramount responsibility is making sure that people looking for information about this event can get accurate, high-quality, credible information on YouTube,” Neal Mohan told The Guardian.