A Russian opposition accuses YouTube and Telegram of exercising restrictions on...

A Russian opposition accuses YouTube and Telegram of exercising restrictions on...
A Russian opposition accuses YouTube and Telegram of exercising restrictions on...

Allies of jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny have accused YouTube and Telegram of censorship, after they restricted access to recommendations to vote against the government during Russias parliamentary elections.

Navalny’s allies have already accused Alphabet’s Google and Apple of caving in to Kremlin pressure, after the two companies removed an app from their stores that activists had hoped to use against the ruling party in the election.

Voting began on Friday and continues until late Sunday evening, and the app provides detailed recommendations on voting processes in an attempt to challenge the party that supports President Vladimir Putin.

It is one of the few means for Navalny’s allies after a massive crackdown this year.

Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram, who has resisted previous censorship, said the platform would block campaign services, including those used by Navalny’s allies to make recommendations to voters.

He said the decision was made due to the Russian ban on campaigning once the elections began, which he considered legitimate and similar to bans in many other countries, and Navalny’s spokeswoman Kira Yarimsh condemned the move.

“It is a real shame when censorship is imposed by private companies claiming to defend the ideas of freedom,” she said on Twitter.

Navalny’s political ally, Ivan Zhdanov, said he did not believe Telegram’s justification and that the move appeared to have been somehow agreed with the Russian authorities.

Navalny’s camp said that YouTube also deleted one of its videos, which included the names of 225 candidates approved by the camp.

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