Over the past month, it’s been Russia everywhere and while the country is currently invading Ukraine, it’s also sanctioning western companies, especially Google which has been one of its targets for quite some time now.
Google’s newest offence in Russia is its failure to pull banned content from YouTube as they are said to be promoting false narratives in the country. Just like China, Russia is another totalitarian country with the state controlling what gets shared around and especially, on the internet.
According to Reuters which released the report, Google could be fined up to 8 million Roubles or US$91,535, or as much as its annual revenue in Russia for repeat offences.
Russian officials said YouTube had become one of the key platforms in the “information war” against Russia.
Google did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
However, other western social media platforms such as Twitter, and Meta’s services including Facebook and Instagram were all blacklisted since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine back on Feb. 24th.
Many have called this an act to sway the Russian peoples’ public opinion by restricting their access to western media.
On the other hand, YouTube has also blocked the Russian state-funded media channels on its platform – and that has caused a bit of friction between the social media company and Moscow which earlier this month accused YouTube of spreading “threats” against Russian citizens.
“The American platform openly enables the spread of false content, containing inaccurate publicly significant information about the course of the special military operation in Ukraine, discrediting the armed forces of the Russian Federation, as well as information of an extremist nature with calls for violence against Russian servicemen,” Roskomnadzor said.
Meta on the other hand was accused of extremist activity, even though the company’s lawyer has continuously denied such an allegation.