What you need to know
- The Russian government has asked Google to stop showing “false” video ads about Ukraine.
- Russia has recently stepped up its efforts to block media outlets that contradict its own narrative about the Ukraine war.
- Earlier this week, Google, Meta, and Apple blocked access to Russian state-owned media outlets Russia Today and Sputnik across the European Union.
Russia’s government has demanded that Google block online video ads spreading “false political information” about Ukraine, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Russian communications regulator Roskomnadzor claimed that YouTube was running “advertising campaigns to misinform the Russian audience” and aimed to create a “distorted perception” of the ongoing war against Ukraine to stoke protests.
It wants Google to stop showing such ads on YouTube and also make changes to its ad-moderation policies. This is actually the second time this week that the regulator has ordered Google to stop running ads that Russia considers to be “false information.” Earlier this week, it demanded that Google remove such information from contextual ads in Google Ads.
Following requests from the European Union, YouTube had blocked access to Russia’s state-controlled Russia Today and Sputnik channels in Europe earlier this week. The Russia Today and Sputnik apps were also pulled from the Play Store for users across Europe.
Additionally, Google has banned Russian state-sponsored ads from its ad platform globally and blocked stories from Russian state media appearing in Google News. Similar action has also been taken by Facebook parent Meta, Apple, and short-form video platform TikTok.
Russia has responded to these measures by restricting access to some U.S. social media platforms. Last week, it partially blocked Facebook after the social networking giant refused to stop fact-checking news stories published by state-owned media outlets. However, it hasn’t threatened to block YouTube if Google doesn’t comply with its demands.
Android Central has reached out to Google for comment.
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