Russia has hit back at American Big Tech giants by blacklisting Facebook and Twitter from the Internet across the entire country.
The Russian government responded after the social media companies placed restrictions on Russian state media.
Earlier this week, both Facebook and Twitter announced they had banned reports from Russia’s top media outlets from appearing on their platforms.
The Guardian reports that Russia blocked access to Facebook and Twitter in direct retaliation for the platforms placing restrictions on Kremlin-linked outlets, including Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik.
Facebook (including Instagram), Google-owned YouTube, and Chinese Communist Party-linked TikTok have completely banned Russian media outlets throughout the European Union.
In response, the Russian state communications regulator, Roskomnadzor, has announced that both Facebook and Twitter will be blacklisted from Russia’s Internet.
Roskomndazor alleges that there have been 26 cases of discrimination against Russian media by Facebook since October 2020.
The regulator has accused Facebook of violating the “rights and freedoms of Russian nationals.”
As Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine, the country has called on tech giants to take action against the aggressor nation.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen commented on the effect of Russian media, stating: “The state-owned Russia Today and Sputnik, and their subsidiaries, will no longer be able to spread their lies to justify Putin’s war.”
Facebook President of Global Policy Nick Clegg stated that the company had received requests from a “number of governments” as well as the European Union to restrict Russian state media. “Given the exceptional nature of the current situation, we will be restricting access to RT and Sputnik across the EU at this time,” Clegg said.
We have received requests from a number of Governments and the EU to take further steps in relation to Russian state controlled media. Given the exceptional nature of the current situation, we will be restricting access to RT and Sputnik across the EU at this time.
— Nick Clegg (@nickclegg) February 28, 2022
Twitter claims to have banned over a dozen accounts linked to Russian disinformation operations.
A Twitter spokesperson said in a statement: “On Feb. 27, we permanently suspended more than a dozen accounts and blocked sharing of several links in violation of our platform manipulation and spam policy.
“Our investigation is ongoing; however, our initial findings indicate that the accounts and links originated in Russia and were attempting to disrupt the public conversation around the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.”