Google employees criticize company management for removing Navalny app

Google employees have criticized the company for removing the voting app associated with Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, claiming that the move indicates that the company has surrendered to the Kremlin pressure.

As reported by Bloomberg, Google employees complained about decisions on internal forums and memegen, the bulletin board used to protest former employees at the company.

Employees posted images on internal forums and mocked Google’s policy on such issues.

One image shows a person reading a magazine under the slogan “Put users first”. Another image is a mockery of Google’s slogan, “Make information universally accessible and useful.”

Quoting someone with knowledge of the problem, Bloomberg Google said it has decided to remove the app from Russia’s online store after a local government threatened to imprison its employees in Moscow.

“I think confronting the government may not be at the top of the list of government priorities,” said William Echikson, head of Google’s freedom of expression policy in Europe from 2008 to 2015. I told things.

He added that Google executives were “quite good at confronting things like this in the past,” but “the company no longer has the same idealism.”

“The company has changed. It is now run by practitioners.”

Apple and Google’s decision to remove the protest vote app from Russian stores pleased Russian authorities, but it soon attracted criticism from Russian opposition activists and US human rights advocates.

Alexei Navalny’s top aide, Leonid Volkov, wrote in Telegram that an American tech company “has fallen into the Kremlin’s blackmail.”

Navalny’s supporters described the decision as “a shameful act of political censorship.”

Earlier, Russian authorities accused American companies of interfering with the national election process by allowing apps from opposition parties, despite a Russian court banning such apps.

Regulators also warned that if Apple and Google refuse to remove banned apps from the app store, they may face new fines.

The app eventually disappeared from both Russian stores as voting began on Friday in parliamentary elections.

Experts view the Kremlin’s crackdown on US companies as part of an ongoing effort to limit access to domestic information.

In May, a Russian court fined Google 9.5 million rubles (£ 91,000) for not removing content alleging that Russian authorities encouraged minors to participate in unauthorized demonstrations in the country. I imposed.

Twitter, a microblogging site, was also fined for failing to remove such content from the platform.

Russian telecommunications regulator Roscomnadzor slowed down Twitter in March after repeatedly failing to remove banned content. Regulators claimed that social media companies had more than 28,000 requests to remove illegal content, but the company did not take action.

In April, Apple was also fined $ 12 million for holding its exclusive position in the app market. The company challenged the decision in court.

Google employees criticize company management for removing Navalny app

Source link Google employees criticize company management for removing Navalny app

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