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Russia rebukes Facebook for blocking some media publications

 


Russia on Monday accused Facebook of violating citizens' rights by banning some media content in the recent confrontation between the government and tech giants.

Telecommunications watchdog Roskomnadzor threatened Facebook over the weekend with a fine of at least 1 million rubles ($13,433) and demanded that access to content published by TASS, RBK, and Vlyzgad agencies be restored.

The Russian Telecommunications Monitoring Organization said that Facebook has blocked publications concerning Russia's detention of alleged supporters of a far-right Ukrainian group, and we call for the ban on links to articles via its platform.

Facebook has banned articles by Russian news agencies alleging that police last month arrested alleged Ukrainian nationalists after experts concluded the extremists were Russian.

According to articles published in February, Russian authorities arrested alleged members of MKU, a Ukrainian national youth organization, in the southwestern city of Voronezh.

StopFake, a Ukrainian agency working with Facebook to find Russian misinformation via the platform, said its research concluded that the three people arrested in Voronezh were all members of a Russian nationalist organization.

Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the Lower House of the Russian Parliament and a member of President Vladimir Putin's ruling United Russia Party, said: Facebook has violated the rights of Russian citizens through a step that amounts to digital chaos.

In a statement, Volodin said: Instagram and Twitter have done the same in the past, and I think this is unacceptable, which violates our national legislation, and we propose a legislative solution that would prevent anything of this kind against the Russian media.

Russia, like other countries, including Australia, which has been embroiled in a major dispute with Facebook, and India, which has been embroiled in a dispute with Twitter, has in recent months taken steps to regulate and curb the power of major social media companies.

The bills passed in December allow Russia to impose heavy fines on platforms that do not delete blocked content with the possibility of restricting access to U.S. social media companies if they are deemed to discriminate against Russian media.

"These companies operate within our environment, but at the same time, they often do not comply with any Russian laws," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told RIA news agency on Monday.

Source: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/russia-rebukes-facebook-for-blocking-some-media-posts-14361152

 

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