- Youtube banned Anna News.
- Roskomnadzor sent a demand letter to Google to reinstate the Anna News YouTube channel.
- Google has been fined previously for violating the Russian laws.
Anna News have been banned by Youtube. According to the announcement by the Anna News “The administration of the YouTube video hosting service have imposed a complete ban on the creation of channels for the Russian media Anna News” (Analytical Network News Agency).
However, looking closer, the Agency was first accredited on July 18, 2011 in Abkhazia and ANNA stood for Abkhazian Network News Agency, but after the headquarters have been moved to Moscow, and the channel was registered with the Roskomnadzor on September 22, 2017.
The word “Abkhazian “was changed to”Analytical”. Abkhazia is a caucasian region and there have been a lot of armed conflicts.
Furthermore, upon going to the Anna News website, the network clearly geared towards geopolitical news. Yet, the topics seem to be specific to the propaganda outlet.
Many posts appeared on the Russian social media platforms, claiming the ban on the YouTube is based on the Azerbaijan and Israel joint efforts. Hence, hinting the ban is based on the complaint that the channel favors Iran and Russia and negatively speaks of the Azerbaijan and Israel. It should be noted, these allegations have not been proven.
Moreover, Russian Roskomnadzor sent a letter to Google demanding that Anna news ban to be removed. The Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media or Roskomnadzor is the Russian federal executive body responsible for censorship in media and telecommunications. www.rkn.gov.ru
According to the Roskomnadzor letter “The administration of the YouTube video hosting service has imposed a complete ban on the creation of channels for the Russian media “Anna News” (Analytical Network News Agency) “We draw the attention of the Russian media to maintain information channels on domestic video hosting sites,” Roskomnadzor added.
“We ask the country’s leading Internet companies to help our media create and promote them. The letter about Anna News says that “a targeted censorship policy against Russian media is unacceptable and violates the key principles of free dissemination of information and unhindered access to it.” ” we demand to remove all restrictions on access to the Anna News YouTube channels as soon as possible.”
In July, Youtube blocked Russian Orthodox channel Tsargrad TV. Tsargrad TV is a Russian television channel owned by Konstantin Malofeev. He hired former Fox News producer Jack Hanick to help him launch the channel.
Roskomnadzor pointed out, if the bans continue Google and Youtube will be recognized as violators of the Russian laws. Google has already paid fines pertaining violating Russian laws in the past. LinkedIn social network been banned in Russia as well.
It is plausible Youtube will be next, It is even possible the new Russian policy on the foreign social media platforms could be included in the Russian president Vladimir Putin annual speech in January 2021.
Overall, it is expected within a year, Russia will roll out intranet. There is an expectation that almost all western social media platforms will be banned in Russia, The similar bans are already in place in China. It is clear, this situation will escalate.