Russia Disrupts Twitter Load Speeds in Banned Content Row

Russia’s media watchdog has announced Wednesday first steps to throttle Twitter for failing to remove banned content by intentionally disrupting the platform’s speed within the country.

“Starting March 10, 2021, centralized response measures have been taken against Twitter to protect Russian citizens and force the internet service to comply with Russian legislation,” Roskomnadzor said Wednesday.

Roskomnadzor said it slowed down Twitter — which polls say is used by 3% of Russians — on all Russian cellphones and half of its desktops.

The social media giant faced heavy fines for not removing 3,000 posts containing information about suicide, child pornography and drugs since 2017, Roskomnadzor said last week.

It was not clear if the slowdown took immediate effect, but the Russian edition of the outage monitoring website Downdetector notes that Twitter users “could currently experience problems.”

Roskomnadzor said it “added the spread of information on Twitter to its list of threats” and warned that it could block the platform if it “continues to ignore legal requirements.”

Russia could take similar measures against Facebook next, lawmakers in the State Duma reportedly said.

Roskomnadzor’s action comes amid growing tensions with western social media platforms over what Russia calls censorship and bias against its state-affiliated accounts.

President Vladimir Putin last month raised fines for social media giants accused of “discriminating” against Russian media. On New Year’s Eve, he granted Roskomnadzor the power to block social media platforms if they are found to “discriminate” against Russian media.

Putin accused social media giants in a January videolink at the World Economic Forum in Davos of “controlling society” and “restricting the right to freely express viewpoints.”

A Moscow court is scheduled to hear cases against Twitter, Facebook, Google, TikTok and the Telegram messaging app next month over failure to remove calls for protests that swept the country earlier this year.

Russia ranked “not free” with a 30/100 score in U.S. watchdog Freedom House’s 2020 Freedom on the Net report, with the country’s “sovereign internet” law, prosecutions of activists for online activity and restrictions on encrypted communications cited as factors harming its score.

(c) The Moscow Times

One comment

  • Putin accused social media giants in a January videolink at the World Economic Forum in Davos of “controlling society” and “restricting the right to freely express viewpoints.”

    Roskomnadzor said it “added the spread of information on Twitter to its list of threats” and warned that it could block the platform if it “continues to ignore legal requirements.”

    How to contradict yourself in one short article. Twitter and the rest of the social media sites should pull out of Russia, but they won’t, money is more important. Maybe the US could stop these social media sites gaining access to Russia, claiming that Russia are spreading disinformation and propaganda that is harmful to US national security.

    Liked by 3 people

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.