Cyprus Mail
BusinessInternational

Russia angry with Facebook for blocking some media posts

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

Communications watchdog Roskomnadzor at the weekend threatened Facebook with a minimum 1 million rouble ($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 Vladimir 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.”

In response to a request for comment, a Facebook representative said on Tuesday: “None of this content was removed through our enforcement.”

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 U.S. social media companies if they are deemed to discriminate against Russian media.

“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 blockage was orchestrated by StopFake, a Ukrainian agency that works with Facebook to find and block Russian disinformation on its platform, said its research concluded the three people arrested in Voronezh all belong to a Russian nationalist organization.

StopFake said it contacted Ilya Bichyov, the lead investigator on the case in Voronezh, who declined to comment on whether the three individuals had any connection to Ukraine on the grounds the investigation is continuing.

Follow the Cyprus Mail on Google News

Related Posts

Cyprus inflation up by 2.1 per cent in April

Kyriacos Nicolaou

Cyprus Business Now

Kyriacos Nicolaou

De-dollarisation is all about de-risking

CM Guest Columnist

AI’s use in finance may need new rules, ECB says

Reuters News Service

Row over Vasiliko terminal deepens

Jean Christou

Cyprus tourism on track to meet targets, minister says, after second-best April

Kyriacos Nicolaou