Russia thinks the US government is using Netflix to get into its people's heads

Vladimir MedinskyWikimedia CommonsRussia’s culture minister Vladimir Medinsky

You might joke that Netflix is taking over the world, but to Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky, it is no joke.

In an interview with news service The Rambler, translated by The Moscow Times, Medinsky suggested that the US government is funneling money to exert American power across the globe.

“The White House fully understands that through Netflix, they can get into every home, every television and then — into every head,” Medinsky said, according to The Moscow Times. “Do you think that these gigantic startups get going all by themselves? That if a student is sitting there with an idea that billions of dollars come raining down?”

The idea of using “soft power,” and specifically American culture, to further the American political agenda is not a new one. But Medinsky seems to also fundamentally not believe that the Silicon Valley system of venture capital could exist.

That said, if the goal of Netflix is to exert control over Russian minds, it might not be doing a particularly good job. Netflix launched in Russia in January, and research from UBS in April suggested that interest in the service might be lacklustre.

Here is a look at how downloads for Netflix’s app fell off after its Russia launch:

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