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Minister Rodriguez concerned about Russian RT broadcasting in Canada

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Cole Hanson
Cole Hanson
"Extreme twitteraholic. Passionate travel nerd. Hardcore zombie trailblazer. Web fanatic. Evil bacon geek."

(Washington) On Saturday, the Canadian government expressed its “concerns” over the broadcast of the Russian channel RT (formerly Russia Today) on its soil, which its critics accuse of being the mouthpiece of the Kremlin.

Updated Feb 26

RT is regularly accused in the West of contributing to disinformation, and is in the crossfire of many European countries, especially since the invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin’s forces.

“I share the concerns of many Canadians about the presence of Russia today in our broadcast system,” Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez said on Twitter.

While calls are growing in Canada to ban the broadcast of this Russian TV channel, the minister, a close friend of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, confirmed: “We are exploring all options.”

Although RT is currently on the list of approved non-Canadian services, its broadcast license is a privilege [pouvant] And warned Friday in the newspaper duty Canadian Audiovisual Policeman, Radio, Television and Communications Corporation (CRTC).

A decision to ban broadcasts in particular may be taken if the obligation to “report news accurately and impartially” is breached, the Radiocommunication Commission (CRTC) said, while RT has regularly been accused of pro-Putin bias.

Thus, more and more countries have cut off contact with RT in recent weeks.

On Friday, it is therefore the main provider of TV access in Finland that has stopped broadcasting. For its part, London requested, on Wednesday, a review by the regulatory body of the license granted to RT. And in early February, Germany banned RT on its territory, prompting Moscow to close the Deutsche Welle office in Moscow.

Launched in 2005 as Russia Today, RT has grown to be the state-funded Russian channel RT with broadcast stations and websites in multiple languages, including English, French, Spanish, German and Arabic.

YouTube suspends RT’s earnings

On Saturday, YouTube announced the “suspension” of the possibility of monetization of some Russian channels, including RT, on its platform, due to “exceptional circumstances” in Ukraine.

YouTube also announced that access to RT (Russia Today) and other Russian channels has been restricted in Ukraine, a country facing an invasion by Russia for three days.

Revenue is generated on YouTube by delivering ads shown when watching hosted videos. On Friday, Facebook also said it had banned Russian state media from making money with it on its platform.

“In light of the exceptional circumstances in Ukraine, we are taking a number of measures,” a YouTube spokesperson said.

“Our teams are beginning to suspend the ability of certain channels to monetize on YouTube, including RT channels globally,” he continued.

The video platform also made it clear that recommendations, which redirect users to these channels, would be “extremely limited”.

“In response to a government request, we have restricted access to RT and a number of other channels in Ukraine,” YouTube said.

The platform also said it had removed “hundreds of channels” and “thousands of videos” in recent days, some due to “deceptive practices”, in line with its rules.

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