The country accused of manipulating the last U.S. Presidential election has claimed that two of the biggest tech companies in the United States have violated its election ad laws.
Regional Elections In Russia
Russia's regional elections were held on Sunday, Sept. 8. The poll is among the most closely guarded local elections in recent years after the Central Election Commission refused to register large numbers of opposition candidates, ensuing weeks of protests.
Attention was particularly focused on Moscow, where authorities arrested and jailed would-be candidates and their supporters.
Russia now says tech companies have exacerbated the situation.
Facebook And Google Allegedly Violated Russia's Election Laws
Russia's communications regulator Roskomnadzor accused Google and Facebook of distributing political ads during regional elections day despite an ad ban during the vote and the day before that.
Roskomnadzor officials reportedly warned the two companies on Sept. 6 but Facebook and Google continued displaying political ads.
In a statement, the agency said that the ads were unacceptable and threaten the sovereign affairs of the country. It also said these actions hinder the conduct of democratic elections in the Russian Federation.
Roskomnadzor's Earlier Warnings To Google
Last month, Roskomnadzor also sent a letter to Google insisting that the search engine company stop promoting what it described as illegal mass events on Google-owned YouTube.
Russia was apparently unhappy that YouTube channels were used to send push notifications to spread information about mass demonstrations. Roskomnadzor also warned of potential consequences should YouTube fail to comply.
"In the event of Google not taking reactive measures, the Russian Federation will consider this as interference in the sovereign affairs of state and also as hostile and hindering to the conduction of democratic elections in Russia and will reserve for itself the right to adequate response," the agency said.