YouTube Defends Removing Videos From Putin’s Leading Critic

YouTube Defends Removing Videos From Putin’s Leading Critic

President Biden continues warning over his regime’s treatment of imprisoned opposition leader, . German Chancellor called for Navalny’s release in a meeting with the Russian president last month. Merkel’s appeal followed Navalny’s return to after recovering in Germany from a suspected assassination attempt. In contrast, the Kremlin’s leading critic has singled out tech giants, accusing sites like of acquiescing to Putin’s whims as protests over free and fair elections continue in Moscow.

Business Insider reports on allegations that YouTube and other platforms have complied with the Kremlin’s campaign to stomp out dissent:

Last week, Russian news service Interfax reported that Vladimir Putin’s regime had ordered YouTube’s parent company, Google, and Apple to remove access to a voting app run by jailed opposition activist Alexey Navalny. The app disappeared from both app storessparking criticism among both the public and Google’s own employees.

In an interview with Bloomberg, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said free speech remained a “core value” at the company, but added that there were “multiple considerations” to take into account when dealing with a country like Russia.

The company has removed videos featuring Navalny in the past, citing Russian censorship laws, and reportedly took down another of his group’s campaign ads ahead of the country’s parliamentary election.

Wojcicki did not give a direct answer when asked if the latest video had been removed at the Russian government’s request. 

While hundreds protest the contested parliamentary election results in Moscow, Silicon Valley faces growing accusations of empowering the Kremlin’s reported efforts to deceive the Russian people.

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