As YouTube has ramped up its efforts to identify Russian propaganda, one channel has managed to evade the company's flagging system: ICYMI, a millennial-focused channel that's part of the same entity as Russian government-funded Russia Today.
In ICYMI's bright and bouncy videos, former RT reporter Polly Boiko offers diatribes about recent news stories, such as the poisoning of U.K. double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter. The videos have slick graphics and poppy music, and users having no clear way of knowing about the video’s connection to Russia’s media efforts, NBC News reported.
YouTube has been implementing a new policy to place banners on videos that indicate the channel "is funded in whole or in part by the Russian government." ICYMI does not have that banner. With its content looking like other popular, youth-oriented media, ICYMI showcases the increasing complexity of Russia’s efforts to spread its talking points across the internet and avoid YouTube's efforts.
YouTube declined to comment on specific channels. And an RT spokeswoman said that it is solely the choice of YouTube to put disclaimers on channels and that "we don’t always agree with their selective classification of some channels with certain prejudicial language."