A story of (non)compliance, bias, and conspiracies: How Google and Yandex represented Smart Voting during the 2021 parliamentary elections in Russia

Makhortykh, Mykola; Urman, Aleksandra; Wijermars, Mariëlle (2022). A story of (non)compliance, bias, and conspiracies: How Google and Yandex represented Smart Voting during the 2021 parliamentary elections in Russia. Harvard Kennedy School misinformation review, 3(2), pp. 1-16. Harvard Kennedy School 10.37016/mr-2020-94

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On 3 September 2021, the Russian court forbade Google and Yandex to display search results for “Smart
Voting,” the query referring to a tactical voting project by the jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei
Navalny. To examine whether the two search engines complied with the court order, we collected top
search outputs for the query from Google and Yandex. Our analysis demonstrates the lack of compliance
from both engines; however, while Google continued prioritizing outputs related to the opposition’s web
resources, Yandex removed links to them and, in some cases, promoted conspiratorial claims aligning with the Russian authorities’ anti-Western narrative.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Communication and Media Studies (ICMB)

UniBE Contributor:

Makhortykh, Mykola and Urman, Aleksandra

Subjects:

000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
000 Computer science, knowledge & systems > 070 News media, journalism & publishing
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology

ISSN:

2766-1652

Publisher:

Harvard Kennedy School

Language:

English

Submitter:

Mykola Makhortykh

Date Deposited:

03 May 2022 16:53

Last Modified:

03 May 2022 16:53

Publisher DOI:

10.37016/mr-2020-94

Additional Information:

Shorenstein Center on Media Politics and Public Policy

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Google, Yandex, conspiracy theory, misinformation, search engine, algorithms, Russia

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/169115

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/169115

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