In the latest news, Russia’s internet censor has fired a warning shot at YouTube over what it describes as anti-Russian “information attacks”. The Ukraine invading country is accusing the U.S. tech giant of being engaged in acts “of a terrorist nature” by allowing anti-Russian ads on the video-sharing platform to be used to threaten Russian citizens. In a statement posted on its website today, Roskomnadzor declares YouTube has been serving targeted anti-Russian ads that call for people to disable railway links between Russia and Belarus.
Anti-Russian Ads on YouTube is Threatening the Life of Russia Citizens, Claims Russia
“The actions of the YouTube administration are of a terrorist nature and threaten the life and health of Russian citizens,” the regulator wrote about the anti-Russian ads on YouTube. “The spread of such appeals clearly demonstrates the anti-Russian position of the American company Google LLC,” it added. The regulator also cautioned Google to stop distributing “anti-Russian videos as soon as possible”.
Furthermore, its statement goes on to accuse U.S. IT firms in general, and tech giants Google and Meta (Facebook’s owner) in particular, of selecting a “path of confrontation” with Russia by establishing a targeted campaign of “information attacks” that it says are intended to “discredit the Russian Armed Forces, the media, public figures and the state as a whole”.
“Similar actions by Meta Platforms Inc. and Google LLC not only violate Russian law but also contradict generally accepted norms of morality,” Roskomnadzor added along with the mention of anti-Russian ads on YouTube. In recent days, Facebook and Instagram have both been blocked by Roskomnadzor — as the Kremlin has sought to tighten its grip on the digital information sphere in parallel with its war in Ukraine.
Russia Has Already Blocked Facebook and Instagram
Facebook and Instagram were blocked by Russia after Meta said it was relaxing its hate speech policy to enable users in certain regions to post certain kinds of death threats aimed at Russia — which Meta global affairs president, Nick Clegg, defended as a temporary change he said was designed to protect “people’s rights to speech as an expression of self-defense”.