Russia bans Facebook and Twitter platforms in the country
Russia bans Facebook and Twitter platforms in the country

The country's communications regulator said Russia is blocking Facebook's Meta page in response to allegedly restricting access to Russian media via the platform.

The Roskomnadzor group said Facebook has seen 26 cases of discrimination against Russian media since October 2020, including restrictions on state-backed channels like RT and RIA in recent days.

He said the restrictions violate basic principles of freedom of information and Russian Internet users' unhindered access to Russian media.

The move represents a significant escalation in the current standoff between big tech companies and Russia, where Russia has imposed massive fines and impeded many services by slowing down in recent years.

Tensions rose during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow described as an exceptional operation. Russia has imposed restrictions on access to Twitter, the TASS news agency reported. Interfax previously said the service had been blocked.

Nick Clegg, Meta's head of global affairs, said the company will continue to do everything in its power to restore its services. "Millions of the common Russian people will soon find themselves without reliable information, without daily means of communication with family and friends, and without a voice," he added.

Meta says it is working hard to make its service as accessible as possible. But it stopped showing ads to Russian users. Also, due to the current difficulties in doing business in Russia, Russian advertisers were banned from displaying ads around the world.

Tech companies such as Google have also halted advertising in Russia due to increased censorship requirements.

Russia blocks Facebook, accusing it of restricting access to it

Moscow said last week it would partially restrict access to Facebook, a move the company said after it rejected a government request to end an independent fact-checking of several Russian state-owned media outlets. Twitter also said its service is limited to some Russian users.

Big tech companies are under pressure to respond to the February 24 invasion, prompting governments around the world to impose economic sanctions on Moscow.

During the conflict, Russian state media became a major source of contention between Moscow and social media platforms.

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