Russian communications watchdog seeks to ban illegal rallies ads on YouTube

Russian Internet Watchdog Urges YouTube to Refrain From Promoting Unauthorised Rallies

Russia's state communications watchdog has called on Google to stop promoting "illegal mass events" on YouTube following renewed protests in Moscow.

According to the telecom watchdog, "some structures" were buying YouTube advertising tools (push notifications) with the goal of disseminating information about unauthorized events aimed at disrupting elections at various levels across Russian Federation.

Hundreds of people later gathered in more central parts of the city, prompting police to detain more than 250 people, according to the independent watchdog OVD-Info.

Russian Senator Andery Klimov said on the day of the protests that YouTube was used by the opposition to promote the rallies that were reportedly peaceful at first until some protesters made a decision to take their cause to the streets, RT reported.

Although Putin continues enjoys approval ratings that would make Donald Trump swoon, dissatisfaction over his totalitarian rule-as well as police brutality against demonstrators-has further fueled dissent.


At the time, Google's Russian division issued a statement saying that it will "consider all justified appeals from state bodies" and that it requires advertisers "to act in accordance with the local law and our advertising policies". Smaller rallies were held in several other cities.

Search engines are required to share encryption keys, as well as the personal data of Russian social media users on servers within the country, with security services.

Russia's media regulator has asked internet giant Google to delete videos of anti-government protests and arrests in Moscow from its platform YouTube.

In late 2018, Russian Federation fined Google 500,000 roubles ($7,663) for failing to comply with a legal requirement to remove certain entries from its search results. That year Google also removed YouTube videos uploaded by opposition leader Alexei Navalny, though the government's official rationale was that the videos violated laws prohibiting campaigning in the day before an election.

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