YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki promoted the company’s support of free speech in Russia — after the company removed a free speech app in Russia.
Google and Apple found themselves in a firestorm of controversy after removing Putin opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s “Smart Voting” app. Privacy critics, free speech proponents and politicians condemned the companies’ actions.
Wojcicki is hitting back, saying free speech in Russia is still part of the company’s core values.
“But when we work with governments, there are many things that we have to take in consideration, whether it’s local laws or what’s happening on the ground,” Wojcicki told Bloomberg Television. “So there’s always going to be multiple considerations.”
Interestingly, despite Google at one time being willing to pull out of China over censorship concerns, the company doesn’t see that happening in Russia — at least not now.
“I think we really want to make sure that we’re working and serving audiences as much as we possibly can,” Wojcicki continued. “And if it comes to a point where there’s an issue with the government, we’ll do our best always to work that out.”