Russia Accuses Facebook, Google of Election Meddling

The Associated Press
Tony Avelar./AP

The Russian government is accusing tech giants Facebook and Google of having defied a government order to ban the distribution of political advertising during Russian regional elections. According to communications watchdog Roskomnadzor, “Such actions can be seen as interference in Russia’s sovereign affairs and hindering the conduct of democratic elections in the Russian Federation.”

Reuters reports that the Russian state communications watchdog Roskomnadzor has accused American tech giants  Google and Facebook of defying a government order to ban political advertising during Russian regional elections. The watchdog stated on its website: “Such actions can be seen as interference in Russia’s sovereign affairs and hindering the conduct of democratic elections in the Russian Federation.”

Google has since allegedly agreed to remove the ads and promised to honor Russian laws. but further details about Facebook’s decision on the matter have yet to be revealed. Russian officials have previously asked the companies to avoid publicizing political ads on the day of elections which is in line with Russian law.

The International Business Times reports that Russia is holding regional elections later this week including in Mosco where the exclusion of opposition party candidates has triggered protest over the past few weeks. Opposition leader and critic of Russian President Vladamir Putin, Alexei Navalny, was jailed in Russia for promoting these protests and urging them to continue.

During Navalny’s 30-day jail sentence he developed a mysterious allergic reaction that resulted in severe swelling and rashes. Navalny has survived the incident but questions surrounding his illness still remain. Navalny’s doctor has claimed that he must have been exposed to some form of toxic agent given his lack of history of allergic reactions.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or email him at lnolan@breitbart.com

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