Russia has blocked the above YouTube video that features a make-up FX tutorial.
Roscomnadzor, otherwise known as Russian Federal Surveillance Service for Mass Media and Communications, a.k.a. Russia’s regulatory watchdog, blacklisted the video because it shows how to create a wound and implies suicide or suicidal tendencies. Russia notably launched a firewall Nov. 1, 2012 to restrict content like child porn and suicidal content.
YouTube has apparently removed the video in Russia to avoid the regulators blocking all of YouTube in the country, but Russian newspaper Vedomosti and the Wall Street Journal reported that YouTube LLC filed an appeal on Feb. 11 to unblock the video and cited it isn’t clear what type of video content is permissible to Roscomnadzor.
A spokesperson for YouTube in Russia, Alla Zabrovskaya, gave a statement on the matter to TechCrunch:
“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. 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 controversy seems to reiterate Google’s encouragement of free speech and an open Internet without government interference. It also emphasizes a growing movement in Russia to suppress such Western rights and even Western company’s—like Google— products and content.
9to5Google has contacted Roscomnadzor for a comment. We will update when more information becomes available.