- Joe Tidi and James Clayton
- From the BBC News
Russia shut down Twitter and threatened to do the same after the “censorship” conflict.
Russia’s communications regulator Roskomnadzor has accused Facebook of violating “the rights and freedoms of Russian citizens.”
Facebook has said it will refrain from verifying the authenticity of state-run news organizations and labeling content.
Experts from cybersecurity NGO NetBlocks claim that Russia has complete or almost no control over Twitter.
The siege came after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, when several videos and pictures of the invasion went viral on social media.
Facebook and Instagram seem to be working normally, but NetBlocks says Twitter services started to crash this Saturday morning (2/26). User reports confirm this.
It is possible to avoid these preventative measures by using VPN services.
NetBlocks director Alp Toker told the BBC: “Regulation of Twitter in Russia will significantly restrict the free flow of information to the public in times of crisis.”
Twitter did not respond to interview requests. Roskomnadzor has not officially announced any action against Twitter.
It is unclear what kind of restrictions can be enforced against Facebook and other meta sites such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Instagram.
The Russian regulator on Thursday called for the lifting of restrictions on state-run news agency RIA, state television channel Zvezda and pro-Kremlin news sites Lenta.Ru and Gazeta.Ru. He said the meta had “ignored” these demands.
Nick Clegg, Meta’s vice president for global affairs, said Russian authorities had “ordered us to suspend independent fact-checking and labeling”. [de notícias falsas]”From the contents of the vehicles.” We deny. “
He wants the Russians to continue to use meta’s sites.
“Ordinary Russians use our applications to express themselves and organize action,” Clegg said. According to him, the company wants “they to constantly hear their voices.”
Many state media outlets in Russia have been promoting a positive picture of Russian military progress in Ukraine, calling the invasion a “special military operation.”
On Thursday, Meta said it had set up a “special operations center” in Ukraine to monitor content about the conflict.
Russia has its own Facebook equivalent of VK and Odnoglassniki, but Facebook is just as popular in the country as the meta-owned Instagram.
On Friday, U.S. Senator Mark Warner said Facebook, YouTube and other social media services “have a clear responsibility to ensure that their products are not used to facilitate human rights abuses.”
Meta is pushing for the labeling of fake news posted on the platform, and has been working with external truth checkers, including the Reuters news agency.
Moscow has stepped up pressure on the local media, threatening to block reports describing it as “misinformation” about its invasion of Ukraine.
Twitter told the BBC that its security and integrity groups were “stopping attempts to spread false and misleading information”.
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