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Blocking YouTube to trigger interest in circumvention mechanisms, says Russian lawmaker

At the same time, Anton Gorelkin said that Google had a tacit policy of gradual mopping up of Russian-language content on YouTube

MOSCOW, October 18. /TASS/. Blocking YouTube in Russia will only give rise to another wave of interest in circumvention mechanisms, the deputy chairman of the State Duma's committee on information policies, Anton Gorelkin (of the United Russia), said.

"Blocking YouTube will only spark a new wave of interest in circumvention mechanisms and an increase on Russian services, which are probably not ready for this right now. That's all that the supporters of a tough response will achieve. We should give up YouTube, as any bad habit, gradually," he wrote on his Telegram channel on Tuesday.

At the same time, the lawmaker said, commenting on the blocking of the Federation Council’s channels on the video hosting, that Google had a tacit policy of gradual mopping up of Russian-language content on YouTube. "Western critics and [Russian] authorities will be blocked in the first place, then they will start blocking people for a more or less positive attitude towards Russia, and as a result, Russian viewers would be able to see only fierce propaganda (which is already suggested in the recommendations)," he added.

"You have to realize that the majority of Russian viewers go there to see what's new on their subscriptions, which are gaming, fashion, hunting, fishing and other nonpolitical content. After all, if Google continues its policy, they [the videos] will also start disappearing [on YouTube] and appearing on [Russian platforms] VK and Rutube," he stressed.

Earlier, Google blocked the Council of Federation accounts on YouTube due to sanctions, removing over 20,000. Chairman of the Russian Federation Council’s Commission on Information Policy and Interaction with the Media Alexey Pushkov said he would appeal to Russia's mass media and telecommunications watchdog (Roskomnadzor) and the Prosecutor General's Office with a proposal to consider the possibility of blocking YouTube on the territory of Russia.