Russia, after protests, tells Google not to advertise "illegal" events

12 Août, 2019, 04:53 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • A woman holds a Russian national flag in front of police during a protest in Moscow Russia Saturday Aug. 10 2019. some thousands of people rallied in central Moscow for the third consecutive weekend to protest the exclusion of opposition and independe

Russia's media regulator on Sunday asked Google to delete from its YouTube platform videos of anti-government protests and arrests which took place in Moscow a day earlier.

The move by the agency Roskomnadzor comes after weeks of demonstrations in Moscow over the exclusion of some opposition and independent politicians from the Russian capital's city council ballot.

OVD-Info said 79 people were also detained in St. Petersburg, 13 in Rostov-on-Don, two in Bryansk, and two more in Syktyvkar as "solidarity" rallies attracted smaller crowds there and in other cities.

"A number of organizations owning YouTube channels acquire advertising tools from YouTube, including push notifications, in order to disseminate information about unauthorized (illegal) mass events, including those aimed at disrupting federal and regional elections", Roskomnadzor said in a statement.

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Russia's opposition figures have organized rallies in downtown Moscow over the past three Saturdays after they were denied candidacy in the Moscow city council election slated for September 8.

The document states that the refusal to take measures will be regarded as interference in the sovereign affairs of the Russian Federation, as well as hostile influence and obstruction of the holding of democratic elections in Russia.

Google did comply with another 2018 request to remove a YouTube advertisement from the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, after complaining that the video violated a law on political campaigning. Moscow would then reserve the right to react "appropriately", it said.

The report didn't provide any details of the retaliatory measures Russia might impose on Google, but possible options would include hitting the company with fines, or blocking Russian Internet users from accessing YouTube.

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