Russia has demanded that Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google stop spreading what it called threats against Russian citizens on its YouTube video-sharing platform, a move that could presage an outright block of the service on Russian territory.
The regulator, Roskomnadzor, said adverts on the platform were calling for the communications systems of Russia and Belarus’ railway networks to be suspended and that their dissemination was evidence of the U.S. company’s anti-Russian position. It did not say which accounts were publishing the adverts.
“The actions of YouTube’s administration are of a terrorist nature and threaten the life and health of Russian citizens,” the regulator said.
“Roskomnadzor categorically opposes such advertising campaigns and demands that Google stops broadcasting anti-Russia videos as soon as possible.”
Google removed an advertisement that was flagged by the Russian government, according to a source familiar with the matter who declined to describe it.
The dispute was the latest in a series between Moscow and foreign tech firms over Ukraine.
YouTube, which has blocked Russian state-funded media globally, is under heavy pressure from Russia’s communications regulator and politicians.