Mozilla Firefox removes Russian search engines over misinformation concerns

Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla has removed the default search engines Yandex Search,, and from the Firefox browser due to reports of state-sponsored content being preferred in search results.

These sites are three of the most popular websites in Russia, used by more than a hundred million users per month.

Since 2014, Mozilla has made Yandex the default search engine in Russia and the following year the default search engine for users in Turkey.

With today’s release of Firefox 98.0.1, Mozilla announced that they had removed the Yandex and providers from the browser’s drop-down search menu, but gave no details as to why this was done.

“Yandex and have been removed as optional search engines in the Firefox search drop-down menu,” reads the release notes for Firefox 98.0.1.

For those affected, Mozilla stated that the default search engines and all associated customizations, add-ons and default bookmarks were removed as part of this process. Affected users would have their browsers reset to the default search engine, currently Google.

In a statement to BleepingComputer, Mozilla says they have removed the search engines from users in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Turkey due to the “prevalence of state-sponsored content.”

“After careful consideration, we are suspending the use of Yandex Search in Firefox due to credible search results reports showing a prevalence of state-sponsored content, which violates Mozilla’s principles,” a Mozilla spokesperson told BleepingComputer.

“This means that Yandex Search will not be the default search experience (or a default search option) for users in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Turkey for a while. In the meantime, we’ll be directing people to”

In addition to Yandex and, a Hacker News reader noted that the Russian social network Odnoklassniki ( was also removed as part of this process. BleepingComputer has learned that they were affected as a subsidiary of

While Mozilla has not stated what state-sponsored content is shown, BleepingComputer has been told that it is search results that favor Russian state media spreading misinformation about the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

BleepingComputer sent Mozilla further questions about today’s change, but has not received a response at this time.

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