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IMI finds 46 YouTube channels which call for the genocide of Ukrainians, post shots of corpses and violence

16.05.2023, 13:49

The Institute of Mass Information has discovered at least 46 Russian and pro-Russian YouTube channels which target the foregin audience and have not been taken down. These channels spread propaganda, racist statements, post violent videos, justify the Russian Federation's war on Ukraine and incite hatred against Ukrainians.

This is evidenced by IMI's survey on Russia's use of YouTube as a platform for propaganda.

Such YouTube channels include the Russian Defense Ministry's channel "Zvezda", "SPAS-STREAM", "Solovyev LIVE", "Tsargrad TV", etc.

The Youtube channels sampled for the survey can be divided into three categories:

1) ones that promote aggressive propaganda, use genocidal rhetoric, hate speech, post violent scenes, etc.;

2) Kremlin propaganda "in disguise";

3) ones that post content that is characteristic of both categories above.

Russian YouTube channels post videos of violent scenes. Namely, out of IMI's sample, five channels upload videos with footage of unidentified bodies with severe injuries, and seven other channels upload footage of Ukrainian military equipment being destroyed (together with the military personnel).

Pro-Kremlin channels mostly glorify the Russian occupiers, justify Russia's war on Ukraine and incite hatred towards Ukrainians. Furthermore, a number of Russian channels spread racist statements. This is how a presenter on the Russian YouTube channel "Zvezda" commented on US President Joe Biden's promotional video for the new election campaign, which features people of multiple races:

"Why, for example, Trump's campaign video does not play up the confrontation between the white and the black America? In Biden's video, it's people of color all around, so now, by definition, since everyone understands everything, we need to shoot an election video somewhere in Texas with rednecks, white women, white men. [...] Their task is to simply expunge the white man, the sentient white man!”

We would like to remind you that YouTube prohibits spreading misinformation, hate speech, and graphic scenes.

"Since the Kremlin's mouthpieces create and upload propaganda videos on YouTube on an industrial scale and try to 'cover their tracks' in various ways, the video hosting staff's efforts to moderate the videos is obviously insufficient. Moreover, some abusive content may go unnoticed by the platform's personnel due to them being not very privy to the context of the Russo-Ukrainian war. Therefore, the Institute of Mass Information wants to stress the need for a YouTube office in Ukraine," the survey says.

IMI also calls on YouTube to take Russian and pro-Russian channels that spread fakes and Kremlin propaganda narratives, use offensive statements and hate speech against politicians and the people of various countries, call for the genocide of Ukrainians, and spread racist statements down from the platform.

In addition, IMI appeals to the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine with a request to facilitate the efforts for blocking pro-Kremlin resources correctly and efficiently.

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