The US companies Google and Facebook have defended their actions on Monday after the Russian government denounced the day before they had breached the legislation in force with the dissemination of electoral announcements during the day of voting in regional and local elections.
In a statement, Google has said that it supports responsible electoral advertising, which conforms to local legislation, although it has not come to pronounce on whether or not there was dissemination of electoral announcements during the appointment with the polls. "We support responsible political advertising and this must be done according to local law, including regulations on electoral silence for any geographic area to which advertising is directed," said Google.
Facebook has denied its involvement in the matter and has argued that the political messages disseminated during election day are the responsibility of the users who disseminate them and not the company .
This Sunday the local and regional elections were held in Russia. In Moscow, the United Russia government party has suffered a major setback in the local parliament, where it maintains the absolute majority but has lost almost a third of the seats compared to the previous elections, according to the results published by the news agency RIA Nóvosti .
Russian media regulator Roskomnadzor has accused American internet giants Google and Facebook of having spread "political advertising" during the elections and, therefore, having interfered in the internal democratic process.
"After monitoring several platforms on election day, it has been determined that the Google search engine, the social network Facebook and the YouTube video channel published political announcements," the Russian agency said in a statement, according to the Interfax agency.
"This can be considered a foreign interference in the sovereignty of the State of Russia and an interference in the democratic process of the country," Roskomnadzor added.
Support for extra parliamentary opposition
The Russian regulator did not reveal which announcement he specifically refers to, but on Sunday Alexander Malkevich, a member of the Public Chamber instituted to facilitate the interaction of citizens with the authorities, denounced that it was a web page of the leader team of the extra parliamentary opposition, Alexéi Navalni .
According to Interfax, Malkevich tried to search Google for information on the elections to the Duma (legislative assembly) of the city of Moscow and "the first link in the search results turned out to be the Smart Vote resource.
Smart Vote is a website created by Navalni and its like to recommend voters the candidate with the best chance of defeating representatives of the country's president's party, Vladimir Putin, United Russia. This strategy was devised as a result of the refusal of the Moscow electoral commission to enroll 57 candidates from the extra parliamentary opposition.
According to the criteria of The Trust ProjectKnow more