MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Google has announced that it had failed to find any evidence of manipulation or policy violations on its YouTube video hosting platform by RT or any other Russian media as part of its investigation related to the 2016 US election interference claims.
"Some have raised questions about the use of YouTube by RT, a media service funded by the Russian government. Our investigation found no evidence of manipulation of our platform or policy violations; RT—and all other state-sponsored media outlets— remains subject to our standard rules," Google said just day before an upcoming testimony of US tech giants, including Google, at the House Intelligence Committee as part of the so-called Russia probe.
RT Editor-in-Chief Margarity Simonyan has reacted to Google's decision, "How we were taught in the Soviet school, QED, 'what had to be proved.'"
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has also commented on Google's statement by saying that "accusations against Russia were put forward so that Google would either confirm or deny the information, and the company denied it."
Pressure on RT and Sputnik in US
Over recent months, RT, as well as Sputnik, have been facing increased pressure amid allegations on their role in alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, a claim strongly denied by Moscow. In her turn, RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan has reiterated that the broadcaster was operating in the United States as an ordinary media without using bots or spreading fake news.
The channel was requested to register under the US Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) in September in an unprecedented move not applied to any other media operation in the country, prompting Moscow to warn Washington of response measures toward US outlets in Russia.
Earlier in October, Google, which owns YouTube, has dropped RT from its package of popular channels aimed at advertisers, with Simonyan criticizing the move as "political pressure."
In its turn, RT has revealed how Twitter itself has been pushing the broadcaster to spend big on its ads during the US election campaign, a proposal eventually turned down by the media outlet. According to Sputnik's press release, the agency has never used paid promotion on Twitter, pointing out that its subscribers are those who are looking for an alternative view on world events.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova described Twitter's move as a decision made under the pressure of the US security services, adding that it is yet another aggressive step aimed at blocking actions of Russian media.