Breaking News
0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Navalny allies accuse YouTube, Telegram of censorship in Russian election

Stock MarketsSep 18, 2021 08:21PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
4/4 © Reuters. Observers watch a live broadcast from polling stations at the Moscow Public Election Monitoring Center during the second day of a three-day long vote in parliamentary elections in Moscow, Russia September 18, 2021. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina 2/4

By Tom Balmforth

MOSCOW (Reuters) -Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny's allies accused YouTube and Telegram of censorship on Saturday after the video platform and messaging app restricted access to their anti-government voting recommendations for Russia's parliamentary election.

Navalny's allies already accused Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL)'s Google and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) of buckling under Kremlin pressure on Friday after the companies removed an app from their stores that the activists had hoped to use against the ruling party at the election.

Voting began on Friday and runs until late on Sunday.

The app gives detailed recommendations on who to vote for in an effort to challenge the party that backs President Vladimir Putin. It is one of the few levers Navalny's allies have left after a sweeping crackdown this year.

Telegram's founder Pavel Durov, who has carved out a libertarian image and resisted past censorship, said the platform would block election campaign services, including one used by Navalny's allies to give voter recommendations.

He said the decision had been taken because of a Russian ban on campaigning once polls are open, which he considered legitimate and is similar to bans in many other countries.

Navalny's spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh condemned the move.

"It's a real disgrace when the censorship is imposed by private companies that allegedly defend the ideas of freedom," she wrote on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR).

Ivan Zhdanov, a political ally of Navalny, said he did not believe Telegram's justification and that the move looked to have been agreed somehow with Russia's authorities.

Late on Saturday, Navalny's camp said YouTube had also taken down one of their videos that contained the names of 225 candidates they had endorsed.

"The video presentation of the smart voting recommendations for the constituencies with the nastiest (United Russia candidates) has also been removed," they wrote.

Navalny's camp said it was not a knockout blow as their voting recommendations were available elsewhere on social media.

But it is seen as a possible milestone in Russia's crackdown on the internet and its standoff with U.S. tech firms.

Russia has for years sought sovereignty over its part of the internet, where anti-Kremlin politicians have followings and media critical of Putin operate.

Navalny's team uses Google's YouTube widely to air anti-corruption videos and to stream coverage and commentary of anti-Kremlin protests they have staged.

'DANGEROUS PRECEDENT'

The ruling United Russia Party is widely expected to win the election despite a ratings slump. The voting, which opened on Friday and runs through Sunday, follows the biggest crackdown on the Kremlin's domestic opponents in years.

The Navalny team's Telegram feed continued to function normally on Saturday, and included links to voter recommendations available in Russia via Google Docs.

On a separate Telegram feed also used by the team, activists said Russia had told Google to remove the recommendations in Google Docs and that the U.S. company had in turn asked Navalny's team to take them down.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In his statement, Durov said Google and Apple's restrictions of the Navalny app had set a dangerous precedent and meant Telegram, which is widely used in Russia, was more vulnerable to government pressure.

He said Telegram depends on Apple and Google to operate because of their dominant position in the mobile operating system market and his platform would not have been able to resist a Russian ban from 2018 to 2020 without them.

Russia tried to block Telegram in April 2018 but lifted the ban more than two years later after ostensibly failing to block it.

"The app block by Apple and Google creates a dangerous precedent that will affect freedom of expression in Russia and the whole world," Durov said in a post on Telegram.

Navalny allies accuse YouTube, Telegram of censorship in Russian election
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (8)
Roger Miller
Roger Miller Sep 18, 2021 10:18PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
So big tech helps Biden the Dems, and is now helping Putin.  This follows all the empty rhetoric and fake threats by the Dems and Biden against Russia prior to and during the election.
Todd Gray
Todd Gray Sep 18, 2021 8:30PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
It's odd to have lived during the early days of the liberal anti censorship movement, to find them all in on censorship today. Perhaps the utopia they've created isn't quite to utopia they dreamed it would be. And, instead a house of cards.
Encrypted Garry
Encrypted Garry Sep 18, 2021 8:10PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
really
Silence Dogood
Silence Dogood Sep 18, 2021 6:46PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Duh..
Trevor Roberts
LimitUp Sep 18, 2021 6:24PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Wow very surprised left wing sites would do such a thing!?!
Vlad Lozovskiy
Vlad Lozovskiy Sep 18, 2021 2:51PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Yea, but Google and Apple blocked Navalniy app.  So much of freedom from leftists.
Alan Rice
Alan Rice Sep 18, 2021 12:10PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Yeah, like Social Media is supposed to support revolutionaries. (Not.)
Sugianto Polisi
Sugianto Polisi Sep 18, 2021 10:36AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
SUGIANTO..GITO.. JLSUMBER..166..
Christopher George
Christopher George Sep 18, 2021 10:36AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Hello 👋
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email