Russia rebukes Facebook for blocking some media posts

Platform News: Facebook

Russia has accused Facebook of violating its citizens’ rights by blocking some media outlets’ content in the latest standoff between a government and the ‘Big Tech’ platforms.

Communications watchdog Roskomnadzor at the weekend threatened the world’s leading social media outlet with a minimum 1 million rouble (approximately $13,433) fine and demanded it restore access to content posted by TASS news agency, RBC business daily and Vzglyad newspaper.

It said Facebook blocked posts pertaining to Russia’s detention of alleged supporters of a Ukrainian far-right group.

“I think this is unacceptable. It violates our national legislation,” said Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of the lower house of Russia’s parliament and a member of President Putin’s United Russia ruling party.

In a statement, Volodin said Facebook had violated basic rights to disseminate and receive information, and legislation would be proposed to preserve Russia’s “digital sovereignty.”

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Like other nations, including Australia in a high-profile dispute with Facebook and India in a spat with Twitter, Russia has in recent months taken steps to regulate and curb the power of big social media companies.

Bills passed in December allow Russia to impose large fines on platforms that do not delete banned content and to restrict access to US social media companies if they are deemed to discriminate against Russian media.

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“They operate in our environment but at the same time they often don’t obey any Russian laws,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told RIA news agency on Monday.

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 Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber and Vladimir Soldatkin. Editing by Andrew Cawthorne.

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