Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is almost a month old and sanctions against Putin’s regime are mounting. The war is also an information battle and the focus is on the internet. Russia itself sharpens the tone against Google. Russia recently asked Google’s parent company Alphabet that the search engine giant should stop spreading “threats against Russian citizens” on its YouTube video platform. For its part, there are threats to completely block the video platform, and the request of the Russian media and censorship authority Roskomnadzor could already be a step in that direction.
According to Roskomnadzor, there are calls for actions on YouTube that could also be seen as sabotage. There are “ads” on YouTube demanding that the communication systems of the Russian and Belarusian railway networks be interrupted. This is seen as a clear anti-Russian attitude by the American company. However, Roskomnadzor did not disclose which ads were involved.
Acts of a “terrorist nature”
The agency’s word choice is being sued, Google is being brought to terms with terrorism, as is the news agency Reuters reports: “The actions of the YouTube leadership are of a terrorist nature and threaten the life and health of Russian citizens,” Roskomnadzor said. The authority continued: “Roskomnadzor categorically rejects such advertising campaigns and calls on Google to stop broadcasting anti-Russian videos as soon as possible.”
The protests have already had an effect, as the Mountain View, California-based company has already removed corresponding advertisements that the Russian government has complained about. YouTube is one of the most popular Google services in Russia. The search itself and other offerings from the Californians play a minor role, as local services like Yandex are much more important here.
She works as an editor at Research Snipers.