YouTube closes German channel of Russian broadcaster RT

Berlin — YouTube said it closed two German channels on Russia’s national broadcaster RT on Wednesday, centered on the false alarm of COVID-19, which allegedly elicited a threat of retaliation from Russia.

Google-owned YouTube said that the German branch of RT was “strike” for uploading material that violated YouTube’s standards for false alarms on COVID-19, which stopped uploading new videos to that channel. rice field.

“During this outage, RT DE tried to work around this limitation by uploading videos using a different YouTube channel,” he added, adding that both channels were terminated due to a breach of YouTube’s Terms of Service. rice field.

In the messaging app Telegram, RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan called the move Germany’s “true media war” in Russia.

“We look forward to banning Deutsche Welle and other German media in Russia without delay and closing the ARD and ZDF offices,” Simonyan said, referring to Germany’s major public television stations. I did. “Not to mention sanctions on YouTube.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov likened it to a YouTube censorship decision.

“There are signs that Russian law has been violated, and that it has been violated quite badly,” he said.

Asked if he thinks companies doing business in other countries, such as YouTube in Germany, should comply with Russian law, he said, “Of course, it violates corporate rights and even media rights. It will be. “

The Russian Foreign Ministry said it would urge relevant government agencies to take retaliation against the German media and YouTube, adding that such a response was “not only appropriate but necessary.”

Russia’s National Communications Commission, Roskomnadzor, has demanded that Google regain access to RT’s YouTube channel, threatening the platform with fines and bans if that is not possible.

In Berlin, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said the government “paid attention” to YouTube’s decision.

“Especially because there are various accounts on Russian channels, this is a YouTube decision, and the German government or representatives of the German government would like to make it clear that it has nothing to do with this decision. “Sabert told reporters. “So anyone who claims that it puts together a conspiracy theory.”

“There is no reason for’retaliation’against the German media operating in Russia,” he added. “Anyone who seeks such retaliation does not show a good relationship with press freedom from our point of view.”

German security agencies say they consider RT’s German services to be the publicity department of the Russian state.

Formerly known as Russia Today, RT offers German services online, but so far it is not licensed to broadcast in Germany via terrestrial or satellite signals.

Last month, Luxembourg rejected RT’s application for a license to distribute German services over satellite. Since RT’s German service is based in Berlin and most of its workforce is in Germany, state officials have concluded that Luxembourg is not in the proper jurisdiction to determine the request.

By Geir Moulson

Associated Press