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Russia accuses Facebook, Google of election interference

On Sunday, municipal and regional elections were held across Russia, with a total of 22 administrative centres electing city parliaments, and three regional capitals electing heads of municipalities, Sputnik news agency reported.

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Moscow Updated on: September 09, 2019 15:50 IST
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Russia accuses Facebook, Google of election interference

Many materials published on Facebook and Google resources can be considered interference in Russia's internal affairs, said an official of the Russian Central Election Commission.

On Sunday, municipal and regional elections were held across Russia, with a total of 22 administrative centres electing city parliaments, and three regional capitals electing heads of municipalities, Sputnik news agency reported.

"Much of what is published there can be attributed to those materials that directly affect a person who is making a choice," said Nikolai Bulayev, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Central Election Commission.

"If there is an influence, I'm sure that this can be considered as interference in internal affairs," Bulayev told reporters.

On the day of the elections, Russia's communication watchdog, Roskomnadzor, said that it had determined that several US Internet giants -- Google, Facebook and Youtube -- had featured politically charged advertisements on their platforms, which constituted foreign meddling in Russia's electoral procedures.

"After monitoring various media platforms on the day of the elections, it has been determined that Google's search engine, the Facebook social media platform and Youtube's video hosting service featured political advertisements.

"This can be considered foreign meddling into Russia's state sovereignty and interference with the country's democratic process," the watchdog said in a statement.

The Russian parliamentary upper house's Commission on Protecting State Sovereignty will look into possible foreign meddling in the country's local elections in the second half of September, the commission's chairman Andrei Klimov said on Sunday.

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