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YouTube Sues Government Watchdog

YouTube, the popular video hosting service, has sued the Federal Consumer Protection Service to overturn the watchdog's decision to ban a video clip that the government says illegally promotes suicide, a representative for Google, YouTube's parent company, told RIA-Novosti on Tuesday.

“Having received an order to delete a video about how to apply special makeup, which the Federal Consumer Protection Service says contains instructions for how to commit suicide, YouTube blocked the clip and sued to have the decision overturned,” the representative said.

Federal Consumer Protection Service chief Gennady Onishchenko said his agency had not yet received information about the complaint, which was filed with the Moscow Arbitration Court on Monday.

“It probably has some grounds. This is a normal event; there's nothing scary about it,” Onishchenko told RIA-Novosti on Tuesday.

Earlier, the Federal Consumer Protection Service asked the Federal Mass Media Inspection Service to add 22 YouTube videos to its list of banned websites, he said.

They included the Russian translation of a blackly comic Australian public service announcement to promote railroad safety called “Dumb Ways to Die.”

It was not immediately clear which video YouTube was suing to have removed from the blacklist.

The government's list of banned sites, introduced on Nov. 1, includes websites deemed to contain child pornography or promote suicide and illegal drug use. The Interior Ministry, the Federal Anti-Drug Committee, and the Federal Mass Media Inspection Service can also add sites to the list.

YouTube was entirely blocked for one hour in November due to a technical error by censors.

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