Google News appears to have stopped working in Russia after the country’s internet regulator said it was going to ban the service.
Google says that some people are experiencing difficulties accessing the Google News app and website in Russia, even though there are no technical issues on its end.
A source within Russia has confirmed to iMore that Google News has been truly blocked but added that the service was not really used by anyone, suggesting the impact of the ban may be minimal.
Google made the admission shortly after state media reported that the government internet regulator Roskomnadzor would block the service in the country, over claims it was reporting false information about the country’s invasion of Ukraine. Google News does not publish or create content, but rather aggregates news from different sources.
Google had previously said it would stop showing articles from Russian state media, a ban also extended to YouTube. The company has also suspended ad sales in the country.
Russia continues to fight an information war with the West, having already banned services like Instagram after Meta admitted it would allow calls for violence against Russians and Russian soldiers that would normally fall foul of its content policies.
Major countries including Apple have stopped operating in Russia. Apple is no longer selling any of its products in the country, leading to some calls from within the Kremlin threatening to nationalize international businesses that had withdrawn from the country in progress. Microsoft, IBM, McDonald’s, and IKEA are just some of the other companies in the firing line.