Russia accuses Facebook and Google of illegal election interference.

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30 comments

  1. DrMandalay

    |Author

    Facebook and Google rarely adhere to national laws of countries they don’t prioritise. Russia is one very far down the list in terms of markets for them, because VKontakte is a better Facebook, and people rarely have FB. Instagram is bigger there, for example. It’s very probable that advertisers on both platforms could submit approved political ads (under the default US legally system) that contravene many other countries legal systems.

  2. Dragoniel

    |Author

    Regardless of all the “but you”‘s, they are completely right. Even if the companies themselves aren’t, those services are absolutely the platforms for those who do.

  3. anyone who thinks russia has a firm grasp on its people are somehow not aware that within the circles in Moscow Putin is becoming preposterously unpopular now. He’s starving the country of resources because of some neonationalist romanov fetish he’s had since he was a wee lil KGB operative in Berlin. His attempt to roll back retirement age was a catastrophically unpopular policy as an example. Furthermore, he’s getting very old for a Russian man in power (not usually long for this world looking back to history) and any despot who constantly posts videos of himself working out is trying to offset the perception of his actual health with propaganda. Russia has spent a lot of oil money on information warfare, enriching their oligarchs, and not much else. They are a paper tiger militarily and that nuclear accident they had recently proved how far back they are technologically and how little the Russians trust their authorities. Despite the propaganda campaigns denying the nuclear spikes, Russians still flocked to pharmacies to completely dry the shelves of iodine tablets.

  4. Kedryk

    |Author

    It sounds like they’re throwing a tantrum over showing an ad for voting technology that was clearly not a political ad, and blocking political/influence ads from the Russian government itself, which seems to be in compliance with their original demands to block political ads.

  5. helgur

    |Author

    > Russia accuses Facebook and Google of illegal election interference

    What elections? Is this some sort of new concept the wizards of light bulb moments in Pravda has cooked up?

  6. AdamCannon

    |Author

    > The irony has not been lost on anyone. Russia has accused both Facebook and Google of election interference during a poll in the country. And, no, you didn’t read that wrong.

    > The “facts,” the country’s communications regulator Roskomnadzor says in its statement, point to “the distribution of political advertising on Google and Facebook at a time prohibited by Russian election law.”

    > Roskomnadzor has has come to prominence recently as Russia progresses its plans to enable internet separation and for switching off parts of its mobile network to stymie anti-Putin protestors. Meanwhile, Russia has been painted as the world’s leading proponent of election interference. It’s a heady mix.

    > These new allegations relate to the running of political ads on voting day—September 8, despite, the regulator says, warnings that such action would break the country’s election laws. “During the monitoring of mass media on voting day, on Google’s search engine, on Facebook and on YouTube, political advertising was established.”

    > Roskomnadzor claims the actions of the U.S. giants “can be considered as interference in the sovereign affairs of Russia and obstructing the holding of democratic elections in the Russian Federation.” Ironic pause. “Such actions by foreign actors,” it says, “are unacceptable.”

    > According to Russian media, a member of Russia’s Civic Chamber, Aleksandr Malkevich, claimed that Google “displayed ads for the so-called ‘Smart Voting’ system promoted by opposition figure and video blogger Aleksey Navalny—these ads are said to have been shown to users searching for data on the local elections in Moscow.”

    > Meanwhile, Facebook allegedly “blocked two posts that Moscow’s Election Commission had tried putting up on its account—detailing how violations during the ongoing vote are being verified.”

    > Russia has itself, of course, been widely accused of widespread election and population interference. More so than anywhere else, the country has been seen to lead the way in the use of social media platforms and data analytics to play games with news and information dissemination overseas.

    > Meanwhile, in Russia, both Google and Facebook have been threatened with restrictions or even bans in Russia for not playing along with censorship and the storage of data overseas. But that’s not the story here.

    > No comments as yet from either tech firm.

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