Ukraine crisis, Google suspends real-time traffic in Maps while Youtube removes and blocks channels and videos

In response to the crisis in Ukraine, a country under attack by Russia, Google has made it known that it is committed to limiting the dissemination of false information and to provide its users and customers with greater security. To do this, the company has considered it appropriate to suspend a series of services in some of its products, such as Maps.

Let’s start with Youtube. The Google-owned streaming platform has removed hundreds of channels and thousands of videos in the past few days. Meanwhile, Youtube has decided to block YouTube channels linked to RT and Sputnik across Europe, effective immediately.

“Due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, we are blocking YouTube channels connected to RT and Sputnik across Europe, effective immediately. It will take some time for our systems to fully activate. Our teams continue to monitor the situation 24 hours a day to act quickly ” this is what the @googleeurope verified profile tweeted on Twitter in the early afternoon of March 1, 2022.

Google has also temporarily disabled the real-time traffic feature in Google Maps in Ukraine and neighboring countries (such as Moldova and part of Romania). We assume this is to protect the safety of people in the countries affected by the crisis. Moreover, The Verge reports that the features of Google Maps that use the location data collected anonymously from Android smartphones to show the crowding of commercial activities have also been suspended. One explanation for this is easy to understand: information like this could be misused to visualize the location of large groups of people.

It is possible to open Google Maps by viewing the map of Ukraine and activate the ‘traffic’ level to see how the service has been completely deactivated, as in the example below.

A few days ago, in an official blog post from Google Ukraine, Google announced that its Incident Response Team is actively monitoring events in Ukraine and working around the clock, focusing on the safety of its employees, users and customers.

Google said it is continually trying to stop disinformation and hacking campaigns while working with other relevant companies and government agencies to tackle these kinds of threats. Google said it has automatically increased account security for users in Ukraine and will continue to do so as cyber threats continue.

Available to Google users are the advanced protection system that protects against a wide range of online threats ( advanced protection), the safe navigation system which is enabled by default in its products by detecting threats phishing and known malware on the Internet ( while Project Shield provides free unlimited protection against DDoS attacks and many websites in Ukraine have already connected to the service (

“Reliable information is especially important during a crisis” explains the Google Ukraine team. “On YouTube, we show videos from reputable news sources and work hard to remove content that violates our policies. We’ve removed hundreds of channels and thousands of videos in the past few days and remain vigilant for inaccurate information.”

Google is also blocking “advertising related to this crisis”, presumably to prevent someone from paying to promote false information. Instead, Google has planned to provide $ 2 million in advertising that can be used to disseminate information on humanitarian assistance.

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