Apple and Google remove app: Critics speak of censorship

Apple and Google remove app: Critics speak of censorship

A new parliament is being elected in Russia. Following government complaints, both Google and Apple had recently removed the opposition leader Alexei Navalny's app from their app stores. Now there is talk of "political censorship". A short statement from Apple is available.

Russia: Google and Apple remove election app

At the request of the Russian government, Apple and Google have removed the "Smart Voting" app from their app stores . The app is intended to give citizens an insight into how they can best strategically cast their vote. Opposition leader Alexei Navalny is considered to be the initiator and patron. The app can no longer be found in the Russian version of Google's Play Store and Apple's app stores.

The Russian government had previously announced fines if the app continues to be offered. "Smart voting" is seen as an attack on Russia's sovereignty. Meanwhile, developer Ivan Zhdanov has confirmed on Twitter that the app has been removed. In this context he speaks of a "mockery of common sense". Apple and Google have made "a huge mistake" (source: Ivan Zhdanov on Twitter).

"The decision to remove Navalny's app from Google's Play Store and the App Store is a huge disappointment," wrote a spokeswoman. "This is an act of political censorship and cannot be justified."

In the video : These apps belong on every mobile phone.

Russian election app: Apple justifies removal

To the developer of the app, Apple gave a brief explanation of why "Smart Voting" is no longer offered in the App Store. The app would provide "content that is illegal in Russia".

In a different case, Apple is resisting decisions by the Russian government. In August 2020, it was announced that Apple would pay a fine of US $ 12 million in Russia for enjoying "unfair advantages". Apple has appealed the ruling.

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