Mozilla Firefox fights fake news by removing Russian search engines

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(Photo: LEON NEAL/Getty Images)
Mozilla Firefox has released its 98.0.1 update which includes the removal of Russian search engines to combat misinformation.

Mozilla Firefox recently updated its web browser by releasing Firefox 98.0.1.

Along with the recent update yesterday March 14, Firefox also said it will remove Russian search engines from its browser.

Mozilla Firefox removes Yandex

Mozilla Firefox has decided to temporarily suspend Russian search engine providers.

While many companies like Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Twitter have withdrawn their presence in the country in response to the geopolitical chaos caused by Russia, other tech companies like Mozilla are also working to root out fake news and misinformation. on the Internet.

In accordance with current events, Mozilla has decided to suspend Yandex Search, Mail.ru and OK.ru due to search engines favoring state-sponsored reports.

In Russia, these three sites are among the most popular on the Internet, with more than one hundred million visitors per month.

Mozilla has made Yandex its default search engine in Russia since 2014. Mozilla’s suspension of Russian search engines extends to Belarus, Kazakhstan and Turkey.

According to BeepComputer, a Mozilla spokesperson explained that the suspension was not made abruptly without proven evidence. Mozilla did extensive and careful research into the cause and impact of the situation before deciding on the ban.

A Mozilla spokesperson said:

“After careful consideration, we are suspending the use of Yandex Search in Firefox due to credible reports of search results displaying a prevalence of government-sponsored content, which is against Mozilla principles.

This means that at this time, Yandex Search will not be the default search experience (or a default search option) for users in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Turkey. In the meantime, we’re directing people to google.com.”

MozillaFirefox 98.0.1

The suspension announcement came from Mozilla via its release of Firefox 98.0.1.

Along with the release of the new version today, Mozilla announced that the Yandex and Mail.ru search engines have been removed from the browser’s drop-down search menu. On the official Firefox 98.0.1 release page, the company did not provide details on why search engines were suspended.

Firefox said:

“If you previously installed a customized version of Firefox with Yandex or Mail.ru, offered through partner distribution channels, this version removes those customizations, including add-ons and bookmarks by default. If so, your browser will revert default settings, as offered by Mozilla. All other versions of Firefox are unaffected by the change.”

An anonymous Hacker News reader pointed out that in addition to Yandex and Mail.ru, the Russian social networking site Odnoklassniki (ok.ru) was also taken down as part of this process. As a subsidiary of Mail.ru, BleepingComputer learned that they were also affected.

Read also: Apple Watch firmware issues: Can iOS 15.4 and Apple WatchOS 8.5 fix it?

New features in Firefox 98.0.1

In the Notes published by Firefox, its new update will allow users to choose their own default search engines. They can choose from many options offered by the company.

However, Mozilla was unable to obtain formal permission to continue including certain search engines in Firefox. Some users who previously configured a default engine may notice that their default search engine has changed in this release.

In addition to the new feature, Firefox now has a more efficient download flow. Instead of asking each time, the files will be downloaded automatically instead. However, they are still accessible directly from the download panel by simply clicking on it.

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