Russian premier Vladimir Putin signed a bill criminalizing fake reports on the Ukrainian invasion and has jammed access to social media majors Facebook and Twitter, retaliating against the platforms for restricting the Russian state-controlled media. Roskomnadzor, the Russian communications regulator, has said that it has also limited access to the microblogging site Twitter.
Instagram and Facebook, both Meta companies, earlier removed Sputnik and Russia Today (RT) from their news feeds this week in the EU and also the United Kingdom today. The regulator in Russia immediately reacted.
The regulator cited discrimination in 26 cases since October 2020 by Facebook against the Russian media. It alleged that Facebook restricted access to RIA, RT, and other news agencies.
Facebook Has Reiterated Its Commitment To Continue Its Efforts To Restore Access To Russians
Nick Clegg, Facebook’s Global President, said that blocking platforms has deprived millions of Russians of access to ‘reliable’ information, though viewers generally do not use that word when it comes to news sourced from the social media giant.
Clegg also spoke of friends and families being deprived of ready access to means of communication, silencing their right to speak the truth.
He said that Facebook would continue in its efforts to restore the services and make them available to ordinary Russians and Ukrainians.
Putin’s bill to criminalize ‘fake’ news has not stopped the spread of news, thanks to the internet. But the bill moved in both houses of the parliament, totally in the grip of the Kremlin, was signed by Putin.
The authorities are expected to go hard against people going against the Russian narrative of the war. Multiple media entities have announced that they are pausing their operations in the country.
Along with Facebook and Telegram Russia has also blocked access to BBC, Voice of America, Radio Liberty, Deutsche Welle, and Medusa, a Latvian broadcasting station.
Meta’s security policy head Nathaniel Gleicher and director of threat disruption David Agranovich said networks based n Ukraine and Russia were targeting people and said that 40 accounts, groups, and pages. They said that they took down those pages and blocked the domains from being searched on the internet.