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Google's Russia Ads Ban Reveals Ad Tech's Dilemma During War

Google's Russia Ads Ban Reveals Ad Tech's Dilemma During War

By Garett Sloane

Major internet and ad tech companies struggle with how much to cut off aggressor country, and its people, online

Google will block internet ads from running in Russia, highlighting a growing rift in the ad tech world over the invasion of Ukraine.

Also on Friday, Russian officials blocked access to Facebook in its country, forcing the decision to cut its people off from the social media site. The move did not seem to include blocking Instagram and WhatsApp. There have been reports that Russian users are being blocked from Twitter, too, and that there could be a complete shutdown of the service.

Brands, internet companies, and publishers are dealing with the business implications of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the economic consequences of international sanctions against Russia. Industry leaders such as Google, Meta and Snapchat, along with smaller companies, are making swift decisions on how to handle their businesses in both countries.

On Friday, Google complied with Russia’s request to stop ads in its country, with the government claiming they were spreading disinformation. Russia has often been the one accused of advertising fake information in U.S. and European markets. Earlier this week, Google stopped running ads on Russian state-owned media entities like RT and Sputnik, and suspended those entities’ YouTube accounts in Europe.