Big Bad SouthFront – the right hand of the Kremlin and the Pillar of Russia’s Disinformation (at least according to the US leadership) – is being censored by Russian platforms with state-linked capital.
It is interesting to see how our fan club in mainstream outlets, the State Department and the Department of the Treasury will react to this. However, most likely, they will prefer to ignore this as this does not fit their fairy tales-styled narrative about SouthFront.
Here you go:
On May 7, SouthFront already published a post informing you that accounts of SouthFront Team registered on Russian state-funded donation platforms were blocked.
This hostile act was undertaken by subsidiaries of Mail.ru Group. The major shareholder in Mail.ru Group is Russia’s state-owned bank Sberbank (Sberbank of Russia). This banking and financial services company is the largest one in Russia.
One of these platforms, that accidentally find out that SouthFront does not fit their ‘terms of service’, is Donation Alerts. We immediately sent complains regarding this decision to the platform and finally received the answer on May 13, which claimed that “Account replenishment is blocked due to violation of Terms of service”. The formal pretext for this move was that SouthFront is no more using mainstream video platforms to share its videos and focuses on its website.
The funny part is that in February 2021 and September 2019 Donation Alerts already requested information about SouthFront activities on the platform and in both cases Donation Alerts Team found no violations of Terms of Service. However, something has apparently changed. The company with a Russian state-linked capital and existing in the Russian jurisdiction just opted to join the censorship campaign against SouthFront.
Here you can find SouthFront’s official answer to Donation Alerts Team:
SouthFront is not using and has never used Donation Alerts as a wallet as well is not using and has never used Donation Alerts to sell any services.
As we wrote in our previous response, SouthFront currently uses its own website (southfront.org) as a video platform. Examples of video content that we stream on the website were attached to our previous response. SouthFront’s YouTube channel is currently not active as Google has been participating in the wide-scale censorship campaign against SouthFront Team.
We once again recall that in February 2021 and September 2019, you already requested data regarding SouthFront activities on the platform and got responses to all your questions. In both cases, Donation Alerts Support confirmed that SouthFront activities on the platform are in full compliance with Donation Alerts Terms of Service. (See tickets QLL-814-52786 and UKL-398-31056). Since then, the core of SouthFront activities on the platform has not changed.
Donation Alerts belongs to Russian company with state-linked capital – Mail.ru Group – and thus is in the Russian jurisdiction. SouthFront is not subjected to any restrictions in the Russian jurisdiction.
Therefore, we have two questions:
1) Does your response mean that Donation Alerts’ decision regarding suspending of SouthFront’s account is politically motivated?
2) Does this mean that if SouthFront resumes activity on YouTube or any another mainstream video platform, Donation Alerts will restore SouthFront’s account?
SouthFront Team demands Donation Alerts to restore our account on the platform and restore the ability of people to make donations to SouthFront immediately.
We also inform Donation Alerts that SouthFront considers all our correspondence public and will work to draw attention of the international audience to this situation. SouthFront is also ready to defend its interests in the Russian court.
IN THESE HARD CONDITIONS, WE EXTREMELY NEED ALL YOUR POSSIBLE SUPPORT!
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