Google has banned Russian state-owned media company RT and other channels from earning money for ads on its websites, apps and YouTube videos after the nation invaded Ukraine.
Citing “extraordinary circumstances,” Google’s YouTube unit said it was “pausing a number of channels’ ability to monetize on YouTube,” including a number of Russian channels that have already received certain sanctions, such as those from the European Union.
Google later added that it also prohibited Russian state-funded media from using its ad technology to generate revenue on its own websites and apps.
In addition, Michael Aciman, a spokesperson for Google services, said that Russian media cannot buy ads through Google Tools or place ads in Google services such as search and Gmail.
YouTube spokesperson Farshad Shadloo also said videos from Russian media will now appear less frequently in recommendations.
On Saturday, Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov tweeted that he reached out to YouTube “to block the propagandist Russian channels — such as Russia 24, TASS, RIA Novosti.”
In recent years, lawmakers and concerned users have called on Google to do more on channels linked to the Russian government, accusing these channels of spreading misinformation saying it should not profit from it.
Russia earned an estimated $7 million to $32 million from 2017-2018 with ads on 26 YouTube channels it supported, digital researcher Omelas revealed.