Russia blocks Facebook and Twitter in the country

Russia blocked the population’s access to social networks Facebook and Twitter in the country this Friday (4), agencies say. Russia’s media regulator (Roskomnadzor) has decided to block Facebook in response to what has been classified as “censorship” of Russian vehicle accounts, amid the invasion action in Ukraine.

According to a document published on the agency’s website, the change meets a request from the Russian Public Ministry made in February 24, the date of the beginning of the Russian military offensive in Ukraine.

“On March 4, it was decided to block access to the social network Facebook, controlled by Meta, on the territory of the Russian Federation”, indicated the regulatory body, in a statement, according to the local news agency “Interfax “.

Roskomnadzor had already partially restricted access to the platform at the end of February, after the start of the Russian government’s call for a “special military operation” in Ukraine.

The measure was justified as a response to restrictions imposed against four Russian media outlets, the military television broadcaster vision “Zvezda”, the state news agency “RIA Novosti”, the website “Lenta” and the newspaper “Gazeta”.

The Office of the Attorney General of Russia, in turn, said that Facebook “illegally restricted the dissemination through internet users of socially important information on the territory of the Russian Federation, including messages and materials from registered vehicles, in connection with the imposition of political and economic sanctions by foreign countries”.

For Russian authorities, the block violates the right of citizens contained in article 29 of the Russian Constitution to “freely access, receive, transmit, produce and disseminate information in a lawful manner” . Roskomnadzor said it asked Facebook’s parent company Meta to lift the restrictions and explain the reasons for their introduction, but it ignored the request.