Big Tech Accused of Caving to Censorship in Russia

Big Tech Accused of Caving to Censorship in Russia

( – Big Tech companies have faced ongoing allegations of censoring free speech in the United States, particularly when it comes from Conservative voices. But the US isn’t the only place where censorship has become a hot topic of concern. Here’s the latest.

On Friday, September 17, Ivan Yurievich Zhdanov, the head of Russia’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), announced that Google and Apple removed an app created by Russian activists to support jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny. The app’s removal conveniently coincided with Russia’s parliamentary elections, which ran from Friday through Sunday.

According to Zhdanov, Big Tech’s decision to remove the app “a shameful act of political censorship.” Reuters reported that Navalny ally Leonid Volkov, accused Google and Apple of caving to pressure from the Kremlin.

Zhdanov posted a copy of the takedown notices it received from the Big Tech companies. The app illegally permitted interference with Russian elections, per the prosecutors representing the Russian Federation and Moscow.

Likewise, the notices stated that “Navalny Headquarters” and the nonprofit organizations “Fund Protection of the Rights of Citizens” and the “Anti-Corruption Fund” are recognized as extremist groups by the Russian Federation’s General Prosecutor’s Office.

The app helped voters opposed to President Vladimir Putin’s political party, United Russia, organize around single candidates in all of Russia’s 225 electoral districts. If successful, the app could have significantly increased the number of non-Putin-approved politicians serving in the next session of Parliament.

Navalny has been in prison for months after surviving an alleged assassination attempt by Russian agents using a particularly deadly form of poison. Are Russian authorities hellbent on silencing his voice and those of his supporters during critical federal elections?

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