Russia accuses Twitter of breaking law by failing to delete content

Platform News: Twitter App

Russia’s communications regulator has accused Twitter of violating Russian law, saying the social media platform had not complied with some of its requests to delete banned content.

Roskomnadzor said Twitter had failed to delete 2,862 posts containing material linked to suicide, pornography and drugs since 2017. It could be fined heavily if found guilty of repeatedly failing to delete content deemed illegal under Russian law, it said.

The platform is used extensively by Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and his allies to criticize the authorities and announce new protests.

Twitter, which declined to comment, has been fined in the past for breaching Russia’s data laws, but the penalties have been relatively small. A Moscow court last year fined Twitter 4 million roubles (approximately $54,000) for failing to comply with Russian data law after the platform refused to locate its server holding data about Russian citizens on Russian territory.

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Russia in recent months has taken steps to exert more influence over foreign social media platforms.

Bills passed by the lower house of parliament in December last year allowed Russia to impose large fines on platforms that do not delete banned content and even to restrict access to US social media giants if they “discriminate” against Russian media.

The foreign ministry has also accused Facebook and other US platforms of failing to identify fake posts related to unauthorized protests in support of Navalny, where police detained thousands of demonstrators nationwide.

Back in January of this year, President Putin queried what he described as the growing clout of US social media platforms and said their influence meant they now competed with governments.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Translation from English to other languages via Google Cloud Translation. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Anton Kolodyazhnyy and Alexander Marrow. Writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber. Editing by Angus MacSwan and Giles Elgood.

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