In March, Olga Solovyeva from the Open University Business School  in the UK will present her research “Digital authoritarianism and IT business in Russia: the case of Yandex”.

Online talk will be organized in Zoom March, 14 from 12:00 to 13:30 (Helsinki time). If you want to participate and get emails about the next online talks, please leave your contact information here until March, 13 noon: registration form. If you registered for Online talks or RMLN email list before, no need to register again, you will get the information.

About the research: Yandex is a multinational IT company with HQ in Russia, providing an ecosystem of over 70 online services, which include the search engine, advertising and cloud solutions, e-commerce and ridetech business. Sometimes referred as a ‘Russian Google’, the company was founded by young IT enthusiasts in the late 1990s. Today Yandex employs thousands of people across the CIS countries, Europe and the Americas. Over the years, the company has been balancing its way of continuously delivering services in a tightening authoritarian climate. Yet, complying with regulation had placed the organisation in a position where following the law is implicitly crossing the line of ethical responsibilities, including executing the human right of the citizens to access the information.

In this presentation, Olga will explore the dynamics of the company-state relationship in the context of establishing control over the IT sector by the authoritarian state, or, in other words, the context of digital authoritarianism where the state sees the opportunities of using digital technology to maintain control and legitimacy.

Speaker’s bio: Olga Solovyeva is a 4th year PhD student at the Open University Business School (UK). Her background is in political science and communication. While her primary areas of my expertise include communication, technology and society. Previously she taught courses on research design, strategic communication and media theory at the Higher School of Economics. Olga has written about the effects of emerging technologies on society, covering online dating, online learning, social media and disinformation.

Moderator: Katja Lehtisaari (Tampere University)

Online talk on Russian Media is a collaborative initiative between Russian Media Lab Network, University of Helsinki, and Tampere Research Center for Russian and Chinese Media.

Image is taken from here.

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