Russia threatens to block Twitter over illegal content

Twitter has expressed free speech concerns over the demands.

What you need to know

  • Twitter faces a ban in Russia over its refusal to take down illegal material.
  • The contentious content includes illegal drugs and sexual imagery.
  • The Russian government says Twitter will be blocked in a month if nothing changes.

Twitter and other social media companies are prone to threats of takedowns from countries where there is a clash of values between the companies and the government. This time, it’s Russia. The social media platform has been urged to take down a raft of illegal content on its platform which included „child pornography and material on illegal drugs and child suicide.“ A slowdown was initiated on the platform last week ahead of this statement.

Reuters reported:

In a move that escalates the growing stand-off, Vadim Subbotin, the deputy head of Roskomnadzor, the communications watchdog, was cited as saying on Tuesday that Twitter had not addressed Russian concerns yet and would be blocked in Russia in a month unless it did so.

„Twitter is not reacting to our requests as they should. If the situation carries on then it will be blocked in a month without a court order,“ the Interfax news agency cited Subbotin as saying.

Twitter for its part had denied that its platform had been used as a harbor for such illegal content. Some have suggested that the platform was a target for the state after being a mobilization ground for protestors and political pariahs alike.

Twitter is not the only social app that’s suffering from a case of spontaneous disconnection. Signal, the privacy focused messaging app that’s just managed to become popular, has recently copped a ban of its own in China. TikTok has just narrowly escaped a ban in the US, and Telegram is always just evading a Russian ban.


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