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Youtube fights off Russian Iron Curtain twitchers

Is appealing potential blanket bans
Wed Feb 13 2013, 13:58

VIDEO SERVING WEBSITE and Google subsidiary Youtube is challenging Russia's right to block its service.

The firm has launched an appeal against the banning of a video that apparently showed how to put on Halloween makeup. A decision to block the video was backed up by the Russian consumer watchdog, and Youtube wants to challenge it.

Russian newspaper Vedomosti has reported on it. Apparently videos can be banned swiftly and without a court order in Russia for any one of three reasons, these being, child pornography, promotion of drugs and suicide content. Youtube is complaining that it is not clear why its Halloween makeup tutorial has been banned.

"Youtube provides a community where people from around the world can express themselves by sharing videos and being informed. While we support the greatest access to information possible, we will, at times, restrict content on country-specific domains where a nation's laws require it or if content is found to violate our Community Guidelines," said a Google spokesperson.

"In this case, we have appealed the decision of Russian Consumer Watchdog because we do not believe that the goal of the law was to limit access to videos that are clearly intended to entertain viewers."

The Google translation of the Russian report that we have seen makes it appear that regulators might find it easier to block a whole website rather than just one part of it. In theory this could mean that if Google declined to take down one video then all of Youtube could be blocked. µ


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