Google has announced that it has halted all advertising in Russia after the country’s internet regulator said that the tech giant was presenting what is believed to be ads promoting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The company halted all search, YouTube, and display advertising.
Russian communications watchdog Roskomnadzor demanded that Google take down ads portraying false political information about Ukraine. It accused YouTube, a Google subsidiary, of launching ad campaigns aimed at misleading Russians about current events.
The move came just days after the the company announced that it will no longer advertise anything created by Russian state media as a way of ensuring that nobody would profit financially from the turmoil.
“In light of the extraordinary circumstances, we’re pausing Google ads in Russia. The situation is evolving quickly, and we will continue to share updates when appropriate,” the company said in a written statement.
Apart from suspending advertising in Russia, Google has banned RT, Sputnik, and other Russian state-sponsored media from YouTube in Europe. It also stated that content from Russian state media would no longer be allowed on Google News.
Google announced it would restrict access to RT and other Russian YouTube channels in Ukraine at the request of the Ukrainian government.
Google has been treading carefully with the Russian government throughout the crisis it employs more than 100 employees who are located in Russia. In the past, the Russian government has threatened to prosecute individual employees of corporates that break the country’s norms.