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YouTube Source of Most Fake Info on Russian Internet, State Media Watchdog Says

YouTube faces criticism from Russia's federal media regulator. Tatyana Flegontova / TASS

Russia’s federal media watchdog has accused YouTube of circulating more fake news than any other foreign platform on the Russian internet, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency cited the agency as saying Monday. 

"About 60% of fakes are related to the Covid-19 virus," said Roskomnadzor, the federal agency responsible for regulating communications, information technology and media within Russia.

Roskomnadzor said that more than 1,000 inaccurate publications on the coronavirus have been blocked in Russia since the beginning of 2020. 

The agency said it blocked fake reports about the deliberate spread of the virus through testing and vaccination as well as false infection and death statistics. Roskomnadzor also frequently blocked ads for drugs alleged to treat the coronavirus as well as websites that published fake information. 

In May, Public Chamber member Yekaterina Mizulina said that more than 6,000 false messages about the coronavirus had been identified since the beginning of April, primarily on the WhatsApp, Viber and Telegram messengers, social media pages and YouTube.

Roskomnadzor’s statement comes a day after Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny published a video to YouTube that shows him tricking an alleged Federal Security Service (FSB) agent into admitting the details of the opposition figure’s poisoning. The FSB called the video “fake” and a “provocation.”

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