Search giant Google in a letter to Russia’s media watchdog Roskomnadzor said it does not change its search algorithm to re-rank individual websites.
To recall, on November 18, when asked during a Q&A session at the Halifax International Security Forum in Canada about whether Google facilitates “Russian propaganda,” Dr. Eric Schmidt the executive chairman of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, said that the company is planning to alter its algorithm and “de-rank” RT and Sputnik to make their articles harder to find.
Roskomnadzor demanded explanations from Google, asking it to clarify its understanding of the term “ranking” regarding the media outlets.
Roskomnadzor struck back and demanded explanations from Google, asking it to clarify its understanding of the term “ranking” regarding the media outlets and threatened to take action against the tech major if it discriminated against Russian media.
However on Monday, Roskomnadzor published on its website and later tweeted Google’s reply signed by Nicklas Berild Lundblad, Google’s VP of Public Policy and Government Relations EMEA.
“We’d like to inform you that by speaking about ranking of web-sources, including the websites of Russia Today and Sputnik, Dr Eric Schmidt was referring to Google’s ongoing efforts to improve search quality,” Google’s letter read. “We don’t change our algorithm to re-rank,” it added.
A Google spokesperson confirmed that the company had sent the letter but declined to comment.