Why Russia is blocking Facebook

RussiaRussia’s media regulator has announced it is blocking access to Facebook networks in the country, claiming that the restrictions of the parent company Meta on accounts in the media associated with the Kremlin, violate Russian law, which prohibits censorship.

After Russia’s attack on Ukraine, Meta used to say it “globally downgraded” content from Facebook pages and Instagram accounts from state-controlled Russian media outlets, including Zvezda TV and Sputnik, to make them harder to find on their platforms. In addition, the social giant banned advertising of Russian state media and demonetized their accounts.

Facebook’s blocking point is part of Russia’s broader efforts to promote its own propaganda and suppress information critical of the regime’s war against Ukraine. Government passed a law Friday banning the publication of “false information” about the Russian military, violators face fines and up to 15 years in prison.

Meta is one of a number of other online media platforms that have restricted or blocked Russian state media since the start of the war, including YouTube, SpotifyTikTok, Snapchat and Reddit.

On Friday, Raskomnadzor, Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Communications, said in a statement: “On March 4, 2022, a decision was made to block access to Facebook (owned by Meta Platforms). , Inc.) in the Russian Federation ”. The agency said Facebook restrictions were banned by federal law, which provides for “unimpeded access [for] Russian users of Russian media on foreign Internet sites. ” Meta’s actions violate “the rights and freedoms of citizens of the Russian Federation,” Raskomnadzor said.

Raskomnadzor also said it would block Twitter in Russia, Fr. report independent news agency Interfax, however Twitter could not confirm that it is not available in the country.

In response to Russia’s statement about blocking Facebook, Meta’s global affairs president Nick Clegg said in tweet that “millions of ordinary Russians will soon be cut off from reliable information, deprived of everyday ways of communicating with family and friends and silenced by statements.” The company “will continue to do everything possible to restore our services” in Russia, he added.

Separately, Meta on Friday is detailed additional steps this was taken in response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Among them, the company said it had temporarily removed the ability to view and search Facebook friends’ lists in Ukraine and Russia “to help protect people from attack.” Meta has also made encrypted individual chats available on Instagram for all adults in Ukraine and Russia.

Meta said it continues to remove content that violates its policies, and has expanded its work with third-party fact-checks in the region to “debunk false allegations so we can ensure less people see them.”

According to Meta, since February 23, Facebook and Instagram users have raised more than $ 20 million to support humanitarian efforts for Ukraine. The company also said it was donating $ 15 million in humanitarian aid to Ukraine and neighboring countries.

Why Russia is blocking Facebook

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