Google News is blocked in Russia. After the company announced it would stop monetizing advertising that justified or advocated the war in Ukraine, Russia has barred access to Online Google News for disseminating “disinformation.” The action follows similar prohibitions on Instagram and Facebook and a warning from Russia’s official media regulator about advertising that it claimed were “promoting threats against Russians on YouTube.” Google had suggested earlier a further reduction in operations in Russia, following the suspension of paid-for YouTube & Play services.
Because of the misleading data, the app provides regarding the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, Russia’s communications regulator Roskomnadzor has prohibited the Google News app & limited access to the news.google.com domain name.
Books and articles and mixtures containing erroneous, publicly important information concerning the progress of the special military campaign in Ukraine were accessible via the United States’ Online media resource.
This decision was made following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s signing of legislation making it illegal to distribute “knowingly false disinformation” regarding Russia’s army activities. They’ve also added jail time for anyone who breaks the legislation, with punishments for 15 years!!!
Russia also blocked Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram earlier this month. The reasons for these restrictions were that Facebook enabled incitement for aggression against Russian invaders on these sites in various nations, reports The Guardian.
US Internet Behemoths Persuasion
As the conflict in Ukraine has developed, Roskomnadzor has been gradually pursuing US internet behemoths. Russia suspended Twitter and Facebook a week after it initially invaded, ostensibly in revenge for the two firms’ removal of Russian state media outlets such as RT & Sputnik off their platforms. According to the official reason, Facebook has been accused of “discrimination” targeting Russian media in 26 cases since October 2020.
Initially, the restriction only applied to Facebook, which has limited penetration in Russia, leaving popular apps such as Instagram and WhatsApp unaffected. Following a Facebook policy update allowing Ukrainian customers to make violent threats towards Russian servicemen, those were placed on the watchlist on March 11th.