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Russia rebukes Facebook for blocking some media posts

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 Russia rebukes Facebook for blocking some media posts

Russia accused Facebook on Monday of violating citizens' rights by blocking some media content in the recent confrontation between the government and tech giants.

Russia rebukes Facebook for blocking some media posts

Communications watchdog Roskomnadzor threatened Facebook over the weekend with a fine of at least 1 million rubles ($ 13,433) and demanded to restore access to content published by TASS, RBK and Vzglyad.

The Russian Communications Monitoring Organization said: Facebook has withheld publications related to Russia's detention of alleged supporters of an extremist right-wing Ukrainian group, and we call for the removal of the ban on links to articles on its platform.

Facebook has banned articles by Russian news agencies claiming that police arrested alleged Ukrainian nationalists last month after experts concluded that the extremists were Russians.

Articles published in February report that Russian authorities have arrested alleged members of the MKU, a Ukrainian nationalist youth organization, in the southwestern city of Voronezh.

StopFake, a Ukrainian agency that works with Facebook to find Russian disinformation on the platform, said its research concluded that the three people arrested in Voronezh all belong to a Russian national organization.

Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of the lower house of the Russian parliament and a member of President Vladimir Putin's ruling United Russia party, said: Facebook violated the rights of Russian citizens with a move that amounts to digital chaos.

In a statement, Volodin said: Instagram and Twitter have done the same thing in the past, and I think this is unacceptable, and it is an act that violates our national legislation, and we propose a legislative solution that prohibits anything like that against the Russian media.

Russia, like other countries, including Australia, which has entered into a major dispute with Facebook and India, which has been in dispute with Twitter, have taken steps in recent months to regulate and curb the power of major social media companies.

Bills passed in December allow Russia to impose heavy fines on platforms that do not delete banned content with the possibility of restricting access to US social media companies if they are deemed to discriminate against Russian media.

"These companies operate within our environment, but at the same time they do not often abide by any Russian laws," a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, told the RIA news agency Monday.
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