BERLIN – YouTube says it has shut down two German channels of Russia’s state broadcaster RT, citing so-called Kovid-1 mis-information, a decision that threatened retaliation from Russia on Wednesday.
YouTube, which is owned by Google, says RV’s German arm COVID-19 has received a “strike” for uploading content that violates YouTube’s standards on misinformation, and as a result, uploading new videos to its channel has been suspended.
Writing in the messaging app Telegram, RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonian called Germany’s move against Russia a “real media war.”
Referring to Germany’s major public television stations, Simonian said: “I look forward to banning the Deutsche Welle and other German media outlets in Russia without delay, as well as closing the offices of the ARD and ZDF.” “Not to mention the ban on YouTube.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov likened YouTube’s decision to censorship.
“There are indications that Russian law has been violated, rather violated,” he said.
Asked if he believed companies operating in other countries, such as YouTube in Germany, should follow Russian law, Peskov replied: “Of course – when it comes to violating the rights of our legal entities, so are our media outlets.”
Russia’s foreign ministry said it would ask relevant government agencies to take retaliatory action against German media and YouTube, adding that such a response was “not only appropriate, but also necessary.”
Russia’s state-run communications observer Roscommonadzor claims that Google regains access to RT’s YouTube channel and fines the platform and threatens sanctions if it fails to do so.
In Berlin, German government spokesman Stefan Siebert said the government had taken “notes” of YouTube’s decision.
“Since there are various accounts, especially on the Russian channel, I want to make it clear that this is a decision of YouTube, and the German government or representatives of the German government have nothing to do with this decision,” Sebert told reporters. “So anyone complains that it’s putting together a conspiracy theory.”
“There is no reason to take ‘revenge’ against the German media operating in Russia,” he added. “Anyone who calls for such retaliation – from our point of view, does not show a good relationship with the freedom of the press.”
German security services have said they consider RT’s German service to be a propaganda force for the Russian state.
RT, formerly known as Russia Today, offers its German offer online but still lacks a license to broadcast via a ground or satellite signal in Germany.
Last month, Luxembourg rejected an RT application for a license to deliver its German-language services via satellite. The country’s authorities have concluded that Luxembourg did not have the proper jurisdiction to rule on the request because RT’s German service is Berlin-based and a significant portion of its workforce is in Germany.
By Gair Moulson
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times