Alexei Navalny smart voting bot blocking

Occurred: September 2021

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Apple, Google and Telegram have blocked a smart voting chatbot devised by jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny on the day the country starts voting in parliamentary elections. 

Navalny's bot was seen as a way for voters opposed to Vladimir Putin to identify candidates able to defeat pro-Kremlin United Russia party candidates.

Telegram founder Pavel Durov said the service would abide by Russia’s 'election silence', a law practiced in other countries that prohibits campaigning during the elections and that Telegram would 'plan' to limit the functioning of bots associated with election campaigns in the future. 

Operator: Apple, Google, Telegram  
Developer: FBK
Country: Russia
Sector: Politics
Purpose: Facilitate tactical voting
Technology: Chatbot
Issue: Freedom of expression - censorship  
Transparency: Governance

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: September 2021