YouTube may get blocked in Russia if video service violates laws, says media executive



    18th January 2023 – (Moscow) A block on YouTube in Russia may be considered if the video hosting service systemically and consciously breaches Russian laws, CEO of Gazprom Media Alexander Zharov said in an interview with RBC.

    “If the platform [YouTube – TASS] continues to systemically and deliberately violate Russian laws, this issue [regarding a block] will be worth considering,” Zharov forecasted.

    The Rutube platform is not a substitute for YouTube at least in terms of technological development, the media executive said. “YouTube is the global video search engine. They are developing together with Google; they have a neural network for recommendations that has evolved over eight years already. You just think and it quickly tells you – yes, I will provide [a link]. We are at the beginning of the road,” Zharov said.

    Should YouTube be blocked, some users would turn to VPN services to continue viewing the content, while others “will not simply go anywhere,” he noted.

    The Russian Ministry of Digital Development said on October 18, 2022, that it had no plans to block the video hosting platform in Russia.