Why Mozilla removed Russian search engines from Firefox

Mozilla has removed Russian search engines from Firefox’s default settings in a new update. Here we will quickly see why.


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Mozilla has decided to remove all Russian search engine providers from its Firefox browser. The move comes after multiple claims that Yandex and Mail.ru favored Russian state-sponsored content in the results.

Here we will see when Mozilla removes these search engines and why the company removes them.

When does Mozilla remove Russian search engines?

After the release of Firefox 98.0.1, the patch notes revealed that Yandex and Mail.ru are no longer optional search engines in Firefox’s drop-down search menu.

Not only have all three options disappeared from the search menu, but all customizations from search engines have also been removed, including add-ons and bookmarks. Essentially, it’s as if the search engines were never there at all!

Why is Mozilla removing Russian search engines?

In light of the war in Ukraine, Russian state media sources have been blocked on many social media platforms, while big tech has removed related apps from app stores.

Although Mozilla doesn’t mention the conflict at all, it’s hard not to see the connection given the other actions taken against Russian companies.


Firefox default search engines

Mozilla explained the reasoning behind its decision to BleepingComputer:

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.

What will happen now?

Previously, Yandex was the default search engine in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Turkey. From now on, however, with the search engine removed by default, people will have to find an alternative. This does not mean that Yandex or Mail.ru are no longer accessible through Firefox; they are simply not the default options anymore.

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Anyone who wants to use them in Russia or any of the other countries can always grab the website address and use them to search for content. The easy search directly in the address bar is not possible at the moment.

This change does not affect previous versions of Firefox. Therefore, those who do not run the update can keep their default settings as Yandex if they wish.


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Rosemary S. Bishop