YouTube has become a platform for videos of dubious worth. The Russian authorities have taken a stand in their country against pornography, suicide, and drug related content on YouTube stating that it is harmful to the health and development of their little ones.
Google recently lost
a court case against the Russian government where they had filed an appeal to challenge the censorship of a YouTube video deemed to be against the law. The video at the center of the discussion was a video that described how to cut veins. Except, this didn't actually involve any real cutting but rather a makeup artist that showed to to create the fake effect of doing so. The law that was put into effect
by the Russian Government was an updated obscenity law designed to 'protect' the children while expanding censorship to websites and the internet.
Moscow, via the compliance checker Rospotrehbnadzor, is citing this new law that only hit the books late last year. Google retorts that they do not think the law was meant to limit access to videos meant solely to entertain. The definition and interpretation of “entertainment” is under debate.
Russia has requested Google to remove content in 120 instances last year. The company complied in only a third of those citations. Critics fear that the broad wording of the Russian law could lead to a precedent resulting in censorship far beyond YouTube.
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