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Yandex not to be registered as media outlet

July 02, 2014, 15:39 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Yandex news service works with the use of mathematic models, automatically and without the participation of editors and moderators
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© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Fomichev

MOSCOW, July 02. /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office on Wednesday recognized the fact that Yandex, Russia’s major search engine, has not violated the law on mass media. Thus, it has been actually confirmed that the Russian major search engine cannot be regarded as an independent media outlet, and it does not need to be registered as such. As a result, Yandex news aggregator with the monthly audience of 22 million people evades problems with distributing news items to the sites of third media companies that were faced with the prospect of traffic decline.

If the Prosecutor General’s Office had made a decision against Yandex, this would have practically made online news aggregators give up news gathering.

“The Prosecutor General’s Office conducted an inspection of the activity of the Russian international IT company Yandex for violation of the law on mass media. The inspection has been conducted at the request of deputy chairman of the Committee on Security and Combating Corruption in the State Duma Andrei Lugovoy,” the supervisory authority noted. “It did not uncover violations of the mass media legislation by the company,” it said.

The verdict has been considerably justified by the fact that the Yandex news service works with the use of mathematic models, automatically and without the participation of editors and moderators - the company has apparently managed to prove this. Such search engines as Mail.ru, Google, Rambler and Sputnik also form news selections, in addition to Yandex.

In the event of registration of online sites by analogy to mass media, the license under the law may be revoked if they get two warnings from the Federal Supervision Agency for Information Technologies and Communications (Roskomnadzor) in a year.

Lugovoy said earlier that his inquiry had been motivated by quick development of Internet resources that have a strong influence on people’s minds, “My inquiry contains no claims to anybody or discontent with anything, I only want to check if a search engine like Yandex is a media outlet or not.”

Yandex’s main office is located in Moscow. The company also has offices in the United States, Germany, Turkey, Switzerland, Belarus and Ukraine.

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