5 Apr 2021 11:08

Roskomnadzor extends slowdown of Twitter until May 15

MOSCOW. April 5 (Interfax) - Following contact with an executive of Twitter, Russia's Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) has decided to allow the company to remove content prohibited in Russia by May 15, after which Twitter's speed may be returned to normal, the press service for Roskomnadzor said in a statement.

"A videoconference initiated by the administration of Twitter took place on April 1. Twitter Vice-President for Public Policy and Communication in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa Sinead McSweeney talked about the efforts being undertaken by the company to improve moderation of prohibited content," Roskomnadzor said.

As the Twitter representative enquired about the conditions for ending the slowing of the social network's speed in Russia, Roskomnadzor's leadership explained that Twitter needs to remove all prohibited content from the social network, bring the speed of removing such content into line with Russian legislation, and comply with all norms regulating the activity of social networks in Russia.

Since Twitter's traffic was slowed down on March 10, 2021, the social network has removed about 1,900 of 3,100 materials it had not been removing since 2017, Roskomnadzor said. "The Twitter administration has sped up removal of prohibited materials. Out of 650 new links to prohibited content, about 580 have been removed. Average removal time is 81 hours," Roskomnadzor said. At the same time, Russian laws require that social networks remove prohibited content within 24 hours of receiving the relevant notice.

"Given the first-ever decision of the Twitter company to change the principles and speed of operation of the corporate moderation service in Russian territory and the removal of a substantial part of the prohibited content in that connection, Roskomnadzor has decided against proceeding to the next measure, such as blocking the social network's operation in national territory, and extended the period of slowed Twitter traffic until May 15," Roskomnadzor said.

Therefore, Twitter is being given more time to remove all prohibited content from social media and fully harmonize its activity with Russian laws, it said.

"Roskomnadzor will continue to interact with Twitter's administration for the sake of the soonest possible full removal of prohibited information from the social network. Full compliance with Russian laws will make it possible to stop slowing traffic and to prevent the service from being blocked in Russia," Roskomnadzor said.