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Russia’s State Duma accuses ‘Youtube’ of manipulating public opinion on nationwide vote

The Russian State Duma’s commission on foreign interference believes that YouTube manipulated public opinion about voting on amendments to the constitution, the Duma’s website says.

“If you type ‘vote for amendments to the constitution’ into YouTube, then it immediately [pulls up] a whole selection of negative materials,” commision head Vasily Piskarev said, as quoted in the statement.

According to Piskarev, from June 3 to July 1, “foreign information resources” distributed 200 fake reports about the vote. The commission has reportedly shared this information with Russia’s Attorney General.

The commission also claimed that it had discovered “evidence of the distribution of destructive, false, and provocative information” on the vote, in materials published by Meduza, Current Time TV, Deutsche Welle, Open Media, MBKh Media, RFE/RL’s Radio Svoboda, the BBC Russian Service, and Voice of America.

Piskarev has already spoken about this alleged “manipulation” at the end of June and the beginning of July, citing almost the exact same list of media outlets. He also spoke about the 200 fake reports that the commission had allegedly identified, and stated that they had sent materials to Russia’s Attorney General.

Piskarev accused the same list of publications of violating election laws in the fall of 2019.

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