Tuesday, June 22

Russia gives Twitter a month’s ultimatum to remove ‘banned’ content

In this file photo illustration, a Twitter logo is displayed on a mobile phone on August 10, 2020, in Arlington, Virginia. — AFP/File

Russia on Tuesday gave Twitter a month’s time to remove “banned” content and threatened that it would block the social media platform within the country if it does not comply.

Last week Russia’s media regulator Roskomnadzor started disrupting Twitter’s services in Russia, saying the US platform failed to comply with its requests to delete content related to child pornography, drug use, and calls for minors to commit suicide.

“We have taken a month and are watching Twitter’s response to the removal of banned content,” Roskomnadzor deputy head Vadim Subbotin told the state-run TASS news agency.

He added that if Twitter does not comply in that time period, the media regulator “will consider the question of completely blocking the service” on Russian territory.

Subbotin also told the Interfax news agency that Twitter has not taken any “specific steps” to remove the prohibited content.

Russian authorities have in recent months increased pressure on Western social media platforms, especially those hosting content supporting jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

Roskomnadzor last week said it had started slowing down the speed of photo and video content for all mobile users and 50 per cent of desktop users in Russia.

A Twitter spokesperson last week told AFP that the company does not support “any unlawful behaviour” and is “deeply concerned by increased attempts to block and throttle online public conversation”.

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