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Can we monitor how Russian censorship is spreading on the web?

Andriana Boyrikova
  • 3 months ago
  • 1 min read

In early March, contractors working for Google to translate texts for the Russian market received an update: “Effective immediately, the ongoing Russian war against Ukraine could no longer be referred to as a war but rather only vaguely as ‘extraordinary circumstances.’"

This resulted in Google webpages using euphemistic terms like “emergency in Ukraine” in their Russian version but “war in Ukraine” in the English version.

What can the web tell us? Can we keep track of the tightening grip of Russian censorship on the internet? 

Share of active Russian domains containing "war Ukraine" in their content.

A quick search in our Search Engine retrieves around 1.8 million active Russian domains. Of these only 3,341 (0.2%) , however, mention “война Украина” (war Ukraine) in their content.

What could such acts by the Kremlin to curtail freedom of expression and access to information in time of war mean for the internet in the future?