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Russia’s state media pushed out of Google search results by EU

According to reports, the European Union has pressured Google to remove two state-run Russian media websites, RT and Sputnik, from its search results to limit the spread of their misinformation. Reports state that the EU’s notice requires Google to remove ‘any link to the Internet sites of RT and Sputnik’, as well as ‘any content of RT and Sputnik, including short textual descriptions, visual elements, and links to the websites’.

The latter requirement might be controversial since it limits not only RT and Sputnik’s reach but also anyone who links to their websites. Google’s search results could be suppressed if legitimate criticism or fact-checking efforts aren’t included.

Russian state media outlets including RT, Sputnik, and others have already been restricted on several platforms. In recent weeks, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have all announced that they will limit the reach of these outlets; TikTok has also started labeling content posted by these outlets.

The company refused to broadcast state-funded channels in Russia, too, before it stopped operating there altogether. A Google spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Even the usually non-biased DuckDuckGo search engine has announced it will ‘down-rank sites associated with Russian disinformation’.


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