Google follows YouTube in cutting ad revenue from Russian state media
“In response to the war in Ukraine, we are suspending Google’s monetization of Russian state-funded media on our platforms,” Google said in a statement to CNN Business on Sunday. “We are actively monitoring new developments and will take further action as necessary.”
In a separate statement over the weekend, YouTube said it would temporarily halt the ability of a number of Russian channels, including state-sponsored RT, to monetize their content on the platform. It will also significantly limit recommendations to those channels, he added.
As the crisis in Ukraine escalates, social media companies have scrambled to contain Russian state disinformation and propaganda. A YouTube spokesperson said the company has removed hundreds of channels and thousands of videos in the past few days, including channels for coordinated deceptive practices.
Also on Friday, the Russian government decided to “partially restrict” access to Facebook in the country after accusing the platform of illegal censorship. Russia’s Communications Ministry has claimed that Facebook “violates the rights and freedoms of Russian citizens”, alleging that the social network cracked down on several Russian media outlets on Thursday.
In response to the allegations, Meta’s president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, said Friday that Russia has ordered the company to “end independent fact-checking and labeling” of four Russian outlets.
“We declined,” Clegg said in a statement. “Ordinary Russians are using our apps to speak out and organize to take action. We want them to continue to raise their voices, share what’s happening and organize.”
Google Maps in Ukraine
Separately, Google Maps has also blocked two features in Ukraine that provide real-time information to users, the company confirmed to CNN Business on Sunday.
Google made the change in an effort to help keep Ukrainians safe and after consultations with local authorities, the company said.
Disabled features include the company’s Live Traffic overlay – a feature some researchers have used to monitor conflict remotely – as well as Live Busyness, a feature that shows a location’s popularity at a given time.
Traffic updates are still available in Ukraine when using Google Maps navigation mode, Google said.
Ramishah Maruf contributed to this report.