Censorship of YouTube: What? When? Where?

Apps Mar 16, 2021

YouTube is the most popular video hosting service globally and one of the most popular resources on the entire Internet. YouTube is a service for viewing, downloading, and promoting videos on various topics: it has everything from product reviews to self-filmed series. The audience of YouTube is more than two billion people, and the platform is used in almost all countries of the world.

Currently, Google is the video hosting service owner, but the creators of YouTube are three former PayPal employees: Steve Chen, Jawed Karim, and Chad Hurley.

Three friends with their idea appeared on the market just at the right time. In 2005, you had to use e-mail to send a video to friends. Besides, it was impossible to watch videos in real-time because you were required to download the whole video, which took a lot of time. Therefore, Hurley, Chen, and Karim could only consider all the shortcomings of existing online services and create something entirely new, aimed at users who want to actively share video content.

Youtube.com was originally launched as a dating site with the ability to upload your own videos. The developers assumed that such a platform would help users quickly post videos, and dating would become much easier. However, later the users themselves determined the fate of the future Internet giant: most of the videos uploaded to YouTube were not about the users but about what was happening around them.

YouTube's popularity began to skyrocket, and by July 2006, the site had moved up to the 5th most popular site in the United States. The company signed contracts with such multimedia giants as Warner Music, Sony BMG, and Universal Music Group. A year after the introduction of the video hosting, Google acquired YouTube for an estimated $1,65 billion.

In 2010, it was calculated how long it takes to watch all the videos on YouTube: 1,700 years.

In 2011, YouTube changed its interface: videos were displayed on a dark background, the logo became darker, and the colors changed slightly.

In February 2012, the site reached a record 4 billion daily views. At the same time, the first video in the world to gain a billion views appeared - it was PSY's music video for the song Gangnam Style.

In 2014, YouTube began supporting videos with an increased frame rate of 48 and 60 frames per second.

In 2015, the site stopped using Flash Player and switched to HTML5. The children's version of YouTube Kids has appeared. In the same year, a paid version of the service was introduced, called YouTube Red, but then it was renamed to YouTube Premium.

In 2017, YouTube TV service was launched - the project's own television platform for viewing TV channels. There was also a new full-scale redesign of the service.

In 2019, Google updated its user agreement, and users were no longer allowed to upload or download videos in which people could be seriously injured or killed.


  • The ability to download and edit videos with filters and music inside the application
  • Video search
  • The ability to subscribe to various channels
  • Notifications about new videos
  • Comments, likes, and reposts
  • Feed of the latest videos by recommendations and depending on subscriptions
  • Paid subscription that removes ads

Countries where it is blocked:

In March 2009, YouTube was blocked after videos of Chinese soldiers beating Tibetan monks and other Tibetans appeared on the platform.

In 2012, Iran imposed a ban on YouTube after an offensive film about Muslims was uploaded to the platform.

North Korea
Unsurprisingly, YouTube is blocked in North Korea. Most ordinary North Koreans do not have access to the Internet, and accordingly, they do not have access to YouTube since North Korea has its own internal Internet.

In 2012, YouTube was blocked in Pakistan, just like in Iran, because of the same anti-Islamic film that sparked violent protests in the country.

Since the end of March 2009, many YouTube videos have been unavailable in Germany due to a dispute between YouTube and GEMA, government-mandated collecting society and performance rights organization. YouTube blocks many videos in Germany because YouTube assumes that the music's rights, including background music, may be owned by GEMA.

Now there are almost no people left who do not know what YouTube is. YouTube audience includes people of various ages and social groups. Thanks to Google ranking algorithms, video hosting has become the second most popular search engine globally. It is not just a video-sharing project: YouTube is also a powerful platform for promoting its own brand.