Russia is the latest nation-state to remind the large multinationals that we are not living in a post-national cyberpunk world. National sovereignty, militaries, and nuclear weapons trump money and media power every time.
Russia’s state communications watchdog has asked Google to stop advertising “illegal mass events” on its YouTube video platform, it said on Sunday.
Tens of thousands of Russians staged what observers called the country’s biggest political protest for eight years on Saturday, defying a crackdown to demand free elections to Moscow’s city legislature. Multiple YouTube channels broadcast the event live.
The watchdog, Roscomnadzor, said some entities had been buying advertising tools from YouTube, such as push notifications, in order to spread information about illegal mass protests, including those aimed at disrupting elections.
It said Russia would consider a failure by Google to respond to the request as “interference in its sovereign affairs” and “hostile influence (over) and obstruction of democratic elections in Russia”.
If the company does not take measures to prevent events from being promoted on its platforms, Russia reserves the right to respond accordingly, Roscomnadzor said, without giving details.
More and more states are learning that it’s not worth permitting these soulless artificial creatures to operate freely and as they see fit in violation of national laws.