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All in vein: Russian court rules YouTube 'suicide video' rightfully blacklisted

All in vein: Russian court rules YouTube 'suicide video' rightfully blacklisted
Global video-hosting web giant YouTube has lost its case against Russia’s consumer rights watchdog, which put one of its clips on a blacklist for what it called ‘promoting suicidal behavior’.

The piece in question is called 'A video lesson on how to cut your veins'. It shows a young woman giving step-by-step instructions on how to create the most realistic slashed wrist make-up for Halloween. Russian authorities considered it was promoting suicide and banned it. YouTube representatives, however, insisted in court that it was nothing but a Halloween entertainment post.

"The YouTube company, owned by Google, is aware of the harm and potential danger some of the videos posted on their website may cause," the watchdog’s internet site said. "Still, motivated by commercial interests and making use of juridical casuistic, YouTube continues to avoid complying with the demands of the legislative norms of the Russian Federation that are aimed at preventing suicides."

Back in November last year the authorities put together a 'blacklist' of online resources with what they believed promoted suicidal patterns. When it came to video materials, 40 per cent of potentially dangerous content came from YouTube. It was just a few weeks after a law came into force in Russia that aimed to protect the under-aged from 'suicide-related' information by blocking access to certain online media.

YouTube, however, has opposed efforts to label them as suicide promoting and has resisted the move in court. With little effect so far.

"The company still refuses to accept the very issue of suicide as relevant," the watchdog website statement reads. "No constructive dialogue is possible because of that and the harmful materials continue going viral on the internet."

Despite speculation that the YouTube video service could be banned in Russia altogether, Russia’s consumer rights watchdog chief Gennady Onishchenko insists it's just certain materials that cause their concern.

The consumer rights watchdog has scrutinized nearly 1,700 websites while looking for suicide-related materials and suggested over 1,500 of them should be banned.