Russia talking Google out of ‘promoting illegal rallies’ on Youtube

Phot. Brendan McDermid/Reuters/Forum

Google should stop ‘promoting illegal rallies’ on its video hosting YouTube, Roskomnadzor said in the wake of Saturday’s protest rally.

On August 11, Russia’s state-run telecom and media watchdog sent a letter to Google calling for measures to prevent ‘unauthorized mass events’ from being advertising on YouTube.

In the letter, there is a mention of some ‘bodies’ that are allegedly set to thwart regional and federal elections in Russia. According to Roskomnadzor, they buy advertising tools, which results in receiving information by users who never subscribed to their YouTube channels.

If Google fails to take proper measures, Russia will consider this as meddling in its sovereign affairs and hindering democratic elections in the country, the watchdog warned.

On the same day, Russian senator Andrei Klimov, Chairman of the Federation Council’s temporary commission for the protection of state sovereignty and prevention of interference in Russia’s internal affairs, accused some ‘foreign forces’ of allegedly manipulating Russian citizens with the help of YouTube.

Google has not responded to Russian officials’ allegations yet.

In mid July, Russians started protesting against the authorities’ refusal to register opposition and independent candidates for the Moscow City Duma elections. 14 people are defendants in the criminal proceedings under Art. 318-1 (using force against against a public officer) and Art. 212-2 (participation in mass disorders) after their showing up at the rally on July, 27 and August, 3.

As reported earlier, the Russian police detained about 339 people in five Russian cities over the recent protests that took place on August, 10. In Moscow, about 50 thousand people gathered for an authorised rally.

Protests in Russia: 339 people detained across country