The Kremlin’s spin machine is in full gear, and it’s no surprise.
The Russian government is in the midst of a brutal war and they need to convince their people that it’s not happening.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has gotten pretty good at this. He’s used the media to fill his people with lies about Ukraine for over 18 months. And he’s hoping for another Cold War, so he can use the same playbook again and keep his grip on power.
The only way Putin can pull this off is by keeping Russian citizens from seeing what’s really happening in Ukraine, in real time.
That’s why Alexey Navalny has called on Google and Facebook to help get information out to ordinary Russians about what’s actually going on in Ukraine by allowing their ad targeting tools and platforms to be repurposed for a nationwide ad campaign that shows the bloody reality of Putin’s so-called “special military operation.”
Navalny was jailed Friday on charges of organizing an illegal protest in Moscow over the extent of Vladimir Putin’s involvement in the war in Ukraine. The Kremlin critic faces similar charges every time he leads a public event. He has called the charges absurd, given that they are brought at every one of his public events and that he is only one of many organizers. He also said that he expected to be released soon because his case was a political one and not a criminal matter.
“I would like to ask Google, Meta/Facebook and other such companies that are quick to ban ‘extremist content’ or prohibit ‘fake news’: Why can we not show how Russia is involved in war crimes? Why do you not want our people to see it?” Navalny asked.
In February, the Russian state media regulator Roskomnadzor issued a warning to Google Ads contextual advertising over “false” information it claimed was being spread via online ads using the platform — saying it had written to Google to complain about it, while also warning owners of domestic internet resources and ad networks that they’re risking a fine of up to 5 million rubles if found distributing “unreliable socially significant information.” It also warned it would block any internet resources found hosting such ads.