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    Many Facebook, Google Publications Can Be Viewed as Meddling in Russian Affairs - Official

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Many materials published on Facebook and Google resources can be considered interference in Russia's internal affairs, deputy chairman of the Russian Central Election Commission (CEC), Nikolai Bulayev, said.

    "Much of what is published there can be attributed to those materials that directly affect a person who is making a choice. If there is an influence, I’m sure that this can be considered as interference in internal affairs," Bulayev told reporters when commenting on Russian Civic Chamber's statements of the interference of Facebook and Google in elections in Russia.

    The head of the Moscow City Election Commission, Valentin Gorbunov, said, on his part, at a press conference in CEC that social networks had been warned in advance against possible violations of the Russian legislation.

    On Sunday, municipal and regional elections are held across Russia, with a total of 22 administrative centres electing city parliaments, and three regional capitals electing heads of municipalities.

    On the day of the elections, Russia's communication watchdog, Roskomnadzor, said that it had determined that several US Internet giants — Google, Facebook and Youtube — had featured politically charged advertisements on its platforms, which constituted foreign meddling into Russia's electoral procedures.

    "After monitoring various media platforms on the day of the elections, it has been determined that Google's search engine, the Facebook social media platform and Youtube's video hosting service featured political advertisements. This can be considered foreign meddling into Russia's state sovereignty and interference with the country's democratic process," the watchdog said in a statement.

    The Russian parliamentary upper house's Commission on Protecting State Sovereignty will look into possible foreign meddling into the country's local elections in the second half of September, the commission's chairman Andrei Klimov said on Sunday.

    "The Federal Council's Commission on Protecting State Sovereignty will look into possible foreign meddling in [Russia's] elections in the second half of September following the completion of all election procedures," Klimov said.

    He added that a summary report would be compiled by the end of November.

    politics, Google, Facebook, elections, Russia
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