YouTube заблокировал канал Царьград ТВ❗
— Телеканал Царьград (@tsargradtv) July 27, 2020
The wages of relying on hostile foreigners for your IT infrastructure: Tsargrad TV has been permanently kicked off YouTube.
This isn’t just some random blogger or streamer – it’s an accredited Russian media organization with its own TV channel, a central office in central Moscow, and as of yesterday, around a million subscribers on YouTube.
It was founded by Orthodox businessman Konstantin Malofeev in 2015 to promote a conservative Orthodox agenda:
“Tsargrad TV” positions itself as “the first Russian conservative information and analytical TV channel”, closely cooperates with the Russian Orthodox Church and public and religious organizations. He actively covered the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, providing informational support to the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR).
Malofeev was sanctioned by the US and the EU in 2014 over his financial support for Novorossiya. Now, it seems that Google has finally gotten round to enforcing those sanctions, not just against Malofeev himself but all his associated structures and close contacts:
Kholmogorov on “Categories of Russian Civilization” at the Two-Headed Eagle.
(1) The Two-Headed Eagle (Двуглавый Орел), a society for discussing history and philosophy, which has hosted lectures by Russian nationalists, was also kicked from YouTube. They maintained a backup channel on VK and will now post there exclusively.
(2) Alexander Dugin, who has left Tsargrad TV two years ago, has also been kicked from YouTube (despite his IRL influence being very much overstated by Western journalists and plebittors).
This follows the YouTube defenestrations of News-Front, Anna News, and FAN-TV earlier this year. It is clear that the Western tech giants are working their way up through the Russian conservative and/or anti-imperialist infosphere.
I certainly don’t have the chutzpah to claim that Google has any obligation to service the IT needs of Russian conservatives and nationalists. But equally, Russia has no obligation to let Google and the Western tech giants have access to its 150 million strong market if they only intend to have pro-American liberals have a say on their platforms.
In the meantime, Tsargrad TV plans to sue Google in a Russian court for infringing on their freedom of speech.
However, while better than nothing, I am skeptical as to the capacity of such actions to bring about change. Considering that a President Biden is now more likely than not, I will not be surprised if the purge reaches RT and Sputnik by the end of 2021. The narrative foundations for that have already been laid.
At the end of the day, I don’t have anything more to add to Vile Varangian’s analysis, who was himself kicked off Twitter a couple of months ago [machine translation]:
In the past few days, YouTube has closed a number of Konstantin Malofeev’s channels (including Tsargrad), and today Dugin’s channels. As I predicted (this was not difficult to predict), the norms of Western politically correct censorship are now applied to the segments of the Russian Internet that are located on Western platforms. You can whine about it all day, but there is zero benefit in it. None of us have ever had the right to be on these platforms. We were there because our enemy, who controls them, was not vigilant for a long time. We still have no right to be on these platforms, and they expel us from there absolutely naturally. The sooner you come to terms with it, the better. The conclusions remain the same. We need Russian platforms and we need the state to terrorize, blackmail and nightmare tech giants, especially foreign ones. For now, we can only hope that, in their madness, American companies will begin and remove people close enough to the Kremlin to provoke any action.
Hence my call to start thinking about blocking the Western subversion networks.
PS. Another note – For a long time, Russian nationalists’ freedom of speech was primarily constrained by Article 282, the “hate speech” law on which hundreds of people were getting convicted by the late 2010s, many of them on frankly ludicrous charges. But Putin decriminalized it a year ago, and prosecutions have dropped to near zero. For all intents and purposes, Russian nationalists now enjoy typical East European levels of free speech, without either West European hate crime laws or the woke, canceling “Society 282” that dominates American discourse.
But over the past year, the worm has turned indeed. It is now Silicon Valley, which has colonized significant parts of Runet – virtually all video content is hosted on there, even if social media and search engines are about equally split between Google/Yandex and Facebook/VK – which is now the biggest obstacle to their growth in the infosphere. For instance, up until now, I was still idly speculating about someday producing videos/lectures on AK topics like HBD, or the American Alt Right (even had a very preliminary dialogue with some Two-Headed Eagle people about that). But with every new banning, it becomes more and more clear that it would be a waste of time. YouTube provides at least an order of magnitude more research – subscribers, views, etc. – relative to any other platform thanks to the network effects it acquires by dint of its monopoly status. Meanwhile, any “breakout” on YouTube will be noted, and the channel shut down shortly afterwards. So probably not worth posting anything to there apart from low effort gaming videos.