YouTube sues Russian authorities over video ban

Feb 13, 2013
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YouTube is suing the Russian consumer rights agency over a new law that restricts content, RIA Novosti reports.

The law took effect in November. It grants Russian communications regulators the right to block any content considered hazardous to the health and development of children, such as through promotion of suicide, pornography, or drugs.

The Google-owned video-sharing site filed the suit 12 February in a Moscow court after the Rospotrebnadzor agency blocked access to a video posted on the site. The video shows a girl using fake blood and other props to glue a blunt razor blade to her wrist.

The Wall Street Journal quoted a Google statement saying the legal action was taken “because we do not believe that the goal of the law was to limit access to videos that are clearly intended to entertain viewers.”

YouTube management suggested there should be more concrete criteria on content that may be harmful to children, Slon.ru reports.

A shot from the banned video. Source: Snegova/YouTube

Rospotrebnadzor has blocked several other videos, including the Russian translation of an Australian public-service spot for children called “Dumb Ways to Die.”


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Transitions Online

Transitions Online (www.tol.org) is an Internet magazine that covers political, social, cultural, and economic issues in the former communist countries of Europe and Central Asia. The magazine has a strong network of local contributors, who provide valuable insight into events in the region’s 29 countries.
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