4 Mar 2022 21:29

Russia blocks Facebook - regulator

MOSCOW. March 4 (Interfax) - The Russian telecoms regulator has decided to block Facebook in response to its blocking of Russian media outlets' accounts, Roskomnadzor said.

"It was decided on March 4, 2022 to block access to the Facebook website (owned by Meta Platforms, Inc.) in the Russian Federation," it said.

Since October 2020, there have been 26 cases of such discrimination of Russian media by Facebook, Roskomnadzor said.

"Over the past few days the social media platform restricted access to the accounts of the television channel Zvezda, the RIA Novosti news agency, Sputnik, Russia Today, Lenta.ru, and Gazeta.ru news outlets," the regulator said.

Such restrictions are prohibited by the Russian law "On measures to influence persons involved in violating basic human rights and freedoms, the rights and freedoms of Russian citizens" whose aims include "preventing violations of the key principles of free dissemination of information and free access by Russian users to Russian media on foreign Internet platforms," the agency said.

On February 25, Roskomnadzor said it had slowed Facebook's traffic over the platform's censoring of Russian media.

Alexander Khinshtein, who chairs the Duma committee for information policy, IT and telecommunications said on Telegram that he hoped the move would teach "other foreign tech giants a lesson. God knows, the Russian authorities had long been trying to persuade Facebook (Meta, to be more exact) to clean up the mess, to end the disorderly flow of fakes, to stop discrimination and censorship. Alas, to no avail. Well, the Internet has now become a battlefield and that means: a la guerre comme a la guerre."