Russia scolds Google after alleged 'dead Russians' translation option

A sign is pictured outside a Google office near the company's headquarters in Mountain View, California, U.S., May 8, 2019. REUTERS/Paresh Dave

April 11 (Reuters) - Russia on Monday demanded Google (GOOGL.O) take immediate steps to remove "threats" against Russians after it said Google Translate had offered some users the option to translate the phrase "dead Russians" instead of "dear Russians".

Russia's communications regulator said it had demanded Google "immediately take measures to exclude statements of threats against Russian users".

The regulator said that when "dear Russians" was typed into Google's translator, it had also offered the variant "dead Russians" under the "Did you mean" section.

The regulator, known as Roskomnadzor, said it did not offer such variants for the phrase with other nationalities. Google did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Google Translate did not appear to be suggesting such a variant when Reuters tried out the translator.

Russia's regulator "demanded that the American company take comprehensive measures to prevent such situations against Russian users, as well as to inform the agency about the reasons for the appearance of such messages."

Reporting by Reuters; editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Susan Fenton

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