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Russia tells Google to stop sharing anti-Russian ads against its people on YouTube

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After its ban on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, Russia has now taken a swipe at US tech giants Google and its YouTube video platform. Russian regulators on Friday accused Google and YouTube of “terrorist” activities, in a possible first step towards a ban on access. The authority claimed the video platform was showing “anti-Russian videos” amid the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.

Russia previously announced a ban on global media technology giants like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The restriction was accompanied by a ban on access to all independent media. Following this, Russian media regulator Roskomnadzor has now accused YouTube of letting users share ads against the Russian administration. He claimed that videos on the platform called for the suspension of communication systems of Russian and Belarusian railway networks and that they were disseminated as part of anti-Russian propaganda.

“The activities of the YouTube administration are terrorist in nature and threaten the life and health of Russian citizens,” Roskomnadzor was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency. “Roskomnadzor categorically opposes such advertising campaigns and asks Google to stop broadcasting anti-Russian videos as soon as possible,” he said while denouncing Google’s “anti-Russian position”. Russia had imposed heavy restrictions on the media after Putin’s announcement of the invasion of Ukraine. Moscow now appears to be considering a possible YouTube ban from Google.

Instagram and Facebook banned in Russia

Notably, Instagram, which is Russia’s most popular social media website, was spared the first round of sanctions, but later Meta was accused of allowing anti-Putin sentiment on Facebook. Consequently, it may have been labeled as an “extremist organization” by Roskomnadzor, which led to its Instagram affiliate being banned. Facebook and Instagram’s parent company Meta said the temporary changes to the Russian hate speech policy only apply to Ukrainian users because, after Russia’s war on kyiv, it is incorrect to prevent Ukrainians “from expressing their resistance and fury against the invading military forces.

Russia, despite having banned Facebook, has opened a criminal investigation into Meta’s hate speech policy in which Russian prosecutors demanded that the court consider the US social media giant an “extremist organization”. Interestingly, as the Kremlin continued to shrink its online space and even restrict access to social networking app Instagram, Russia-based tech entrepreneurs are set to launch a photo-sharing app called Rossgram. , to replace the Meta-owned app in the domestic market. . The new app is set to launch on March 28.

Image: AP/UNSPLASH

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