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Russia-Ukraine crisis: Google now pausing all ads in Russia across products

Google has announced that it will pause all advertisements in Russia in light of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Google has announced that it will pause all advertisements in Russia in light of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. This applies to ads on Search, YouTube, Display, and the move is effective immediately. “In light of the extraordinary circumstances, we’re pausing Google ads in Russia. The situation is evolving quickly, and we will continue to share updates when appropriate,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement.

This is an extraordinary step given Google depends on advertising for a majority of its revenue across the world.  Twitter had already announced a similar move five days back. “We’re temporarily pausing advertisements in Ukraine and Russia to ensure critical public safety information is elevated and ads don’t detract from it,” the social media company had said. Snap Inc, the parent company for Snapchat had also announced a similar move. Twitter will also begin marking tweets from Russian state affiliated media more prominently on the platform.

Google has also invoked its sensitive events policy, which bars marketing that seeks to take advantage of the war, with an exception for protest or anti-war ads. YouTube, which is owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, had also announced that it would block channels connected to RT and Sputnik across Europe. These are Russia state affiliated media. The move was taken on account of spread of disinformation from the Russia state-owned media. YouTube had earlier stopped these channels from monetisation.

According to Reuters, Russia’s communications regulator Roskomnadzor on Monday ordered Google to stop showing ads that contained inaccurate information about casualties sustained by Russian forces and Ukrainian civilians.  On Thursday, the regulator told Google to stop showing YouTube ads with “false political information” about Ukraine that aimed “to misinform the Russian audience” about current events, the Wall Street Journal reported. Moscow in the past has fined or restricted access to services that ignore its demands.Google last year paid more than 32 million roubles in fines over content violations..

Google later announced that it had blocked mobile apps connected to RT and Sputnik from its Play store as well.  Meanwhile, Google Pay, which is the company’s payments service, has been limited service in the country, though Google had not completely blocked it in the country. It also stopped live traffic data in Ukraine. A similar move was taken by Apple on account of safety of residents in Ukraine. Apple has also stopped selling its products in Russia.

With Reuters inputs 


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