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Tags: ukraine | russia | google | youtube | war | ban | censorship

Russian-Installed Regional Governments Ban Google, YouTube

a smart phone app shows the youtube application on its screen in a close up
(Patrick Semansky/AP)

By    |   Monday, 25 July 2022 06:05 PM EDT

Russian-installed regional governments in Ukraine have banned Google and YouTube, charging the company with inciting terrorism.

The development follows the ban of most Western social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook in May, leaving Ukrainians in Russian-occupied territories almost entirely limited to government-controlled Russian reports.

The leaders of the self-declared "people's republics" of Donetsk and Luhansk announced a ban of Google and YouTube first. Their counterparts in Kherson followed suit a few days later.

Denis Pushilin, the leader of the Donetsk region, accused Google of "pitting the world against Russians, spreading misinformation and lies" and speculated the U.S. government is secretly pushing an "anti-Donetsk agenda."

Luhansk leader Leonid Pasichnik wrote a similar statement on his Telegram account.

"We'll be just fine without it," he wrote.

A service similar to Google, called Yandex, has existed in Russia proper for years. The search engine is used by hundreds of millions Russian speakers and is functionally identical to Google.

While Google's critics contend it programs its service to amplify distribution of content it approves and similarly restricts content it disapproves, Yandex likewise has promoted pro-Kremlin content, particularly with reporting on the war in Ukraine, and minimized content favorable to Kyiv.

Russian state-sponsored media outlets are often found at the top of searches. A recent investigation from the Alliance for Securing Democracy showed that, between May 16 and June 2, about 40% of articles presented in Yandex's "news" tab came from state-sponsored outlets.

"There were virtually no articles from international news outlets, save for three articles from the Russian version of Forbes," read the report.

Ukrainian news outlet Hromadske demonstrated the difference in a Telegram post four months ago, showing the difference in coverage of the reports of tortured and burned bodies in the town of Bucha.

The Hromadske report showed results of a Google search of "Bucha," which included stories and images of piles and strewn corpses and destruction, and duplicate search on Yandex, which was dominated by images of peacetime Bucha.

Lyudmila Denisova, the former ombudsman for Human Rights in Ukraine, noted the self-declared republics Donetsk and Luhansk, as well as Kherson, in May also banned Facebook, Instagram, and a number of other messaging apps.

"Turning off these platforms will make communicating with loved ones much more difficult and will severely limit access to truthful information," she said.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


GlobalTalk
Russian-installed regional governments in Ukraine have banned Google and YouTube, charging the company with inciting terrorism.
ukraine, russia, google, youtube, war, ban, censorship
386
2022-05-25
Monday, 25 July 2022 06:05 PM
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