After repeated troll attacks on The Insider Live channel on YouTube, the channel has been blocked and removed along with all its content. The channel had over 52,000 subscribers, with tens of thousands of people watching The Insider Live programming daily. Google's official response regarding the reasons for the blockage states that the channel “violates spam, deceptive practices and scams policies.”
Over the past few months, the channel had suffered a massive influx of trolls leaving comments in support of Hamas, Azerbaijan, and the Kremlin's foreign policy while also filing complaints against the channel. Additionally, a week before the blockage (apparently under the influence of Kremlin trolls), YouTube restricted access to several old videos featuring Wagner Group head Yevgeny Prigozhin for allegedly violating rules about “groups committing violent crimes,” as well as to videos depicting statements by Russian lawmaker Andrey Gurulyov, calling for the annihilation of 20% of Russians. The Insider Live also received numerous unjustified copyright violation warnings; attempts to appeal them proved unsuccessful.
It's worth noting that all of the videos that triggered warnings from YouTube were informational, while similar content on other news channels is freely distributed without restriction.
Shows produced by The Insider garner tens, and sometimes hundreds of thousands of views: “Surveillance” by Andrey Zakharov exploring the most high-profile investigations, interviews by Marfa Smirnova, episodes of Nikolay Alexandrov's “Not Just About Books” series, Ksenia Larina's “Honestly Speaking” project, and the Inside 5 news podcast, watched by tens of thousands every morning. You can subscribe to the new channel The Insider Live here.
According to The Insider, almost all independent Russian media have faced similar organized attacks by Kremlin trolls utilizing YouTube algorithms. The Insider hopes that through cooperation with Google, the issue of restricting access to independent media through the abuse of YouTube algorithms will be resolved in the near future.