Russian Internet Watchdog Urges YouTube to Refrain From Promoting Unauthorised Rallies

Protesters attend a rally in central Moscow

The Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communication, or Roskomnadzor, communicated the demand after weeks of rallies over Moscow's city council election.

Although Putin continues enjoys approval ratings that would make Donald Trump swoon, dissatisfaction over his totalitarian rule-as well as police brutality against demonstrators-has further fueled dissent.

Thousands have also been arrested over the past fortnight at what the government considers unsanctioned political rallies.

According to the telecom watchdog, "some structures" were buying YouTube advertising tools (push notifications) with the goal of disseminating information about unauthorized events aimed at disrupting elections at various levels across Russian Federation.

YouTube is a Google subsidiary. The protests were livestreamed on YouTube; organizers claimed that some videos attracted 50,000 viewers.

If the company does not take measures to prevent events from being promoted on its platforms, Russian Federation reserves the right to respond accordingly, Roscomnadzor said in its statement, without giving details.

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Dolce & Gabbana faced an angry backlash past year over a video that showed a Chinese model struggling to use chopsticks. The topic "Coach" was the hottest item on China's Twitter-like Weibo this morning, receiving 1.2 billion views.

The protests erupted when the news came that opposition candidates were banned from running in the upcoming Moscow city elections set to take place in September.

The agency's authorities noted in their letter that failure to take response measures would be recognized as interference in the sovereign internal affairs of the country, hostile actions and hindering a democratic choice in Russian Federation.

Earlier that year, Google removed a YouTube advertisement by Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny after authorities complained that the videos violated a law prohibiting campaigning before a vote for regional governors.

The protesters took to the streets of the Russian capital in the largest political protests in eight years, defying a crackdown.

Police detained over 1,600 participants in the unauthorized demonstrations on July 27 and August 3 for various offenses, and then released majority.

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