Firefox Removed Russian Search Providers

Many Allegations were made on some search engines about state-sponsored content are favored in search results. Owing to this, Mozilla has removed many Russia based search engines such as Yandex, Mail[.]ru and OK[.]ru search providers from Firefox browsers that were used by hundred million Russians every month.

In 2014, Yandex was made as a default search engine in Mozilla for Russia and to Turkey in the next year. As per the recent release version of Firefox 98.0.1, Mozilla said that they have removed Yandex and Mail.ru from the drop-down list of search. However, Mozilla hasn’t made any statements on why they did this.

In their release notes, Mozilla said that, “Yandex and Mail.ru have been removed as optional search providers in the drop-down search menu in Firefox”. Users that were using these search engines as default and related extensions or add-ons will have their browsers reset to default search engine which as of now is Google.

A report stated that, “After careful consideration, we are suspending the use of Yandex Search in Firefox due to credible reports of search results displaying a prevalence of state sponsored content, which is contrary to the principles of Mozilla”. 

Mozilla never detailed what kind of content were state-sponsored and how they were identified. Another report also mentioned that the Russian social network Odnoklassniki social network (ok[.]ru) was removed along with the search engines as part of this release. It was noted that ok[.]ru was a part of mail[.]ru

Mozilla only said that the state-sponsored content was related to spreading misinformation of Russia’s invasion on Ukraine which was against Mozilla’s policies leading to the removal of those search engines and their extensions.

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Gurubaran is a co-founder of Cyber Security News and GBHackers On Security. He has 10+ years of experience as a Security Consultant, Editor, and Analyst in cybersecurity, technology, and communications.