Facebook reacts to Russia’s ban on its platforms

Facebook has reacted after a ban on its platforms imposed in Russia on Friday amid the present war in Ukraine.

According to Russia’s communications regulator, the ban was a response to restrictions positioned on its media there.

Since October 2020, it said there had been 26 cases of “discrimination” against Russian media by Facebook.

Also, there were allegations that the use of Twitter had been limited by the Russian regulator, Roskomnadzor, on Friday evening.

BBC reports that Facebook’s president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, said that “soon millions of ordinary Russians will find themselves cut off from reliable information”.

Previously, Facebook had been limited in the country, along with platforms including Twitter.

Although its use was restricted, Facebook had not been blocked entirely in the country.

Russian media on Friday cited the regulator as saying that Twitter had been restricted after a request by the prosecutor general from 24 February, the day of the invasion of Ukraine.

According to Meta, the company that owns Facebook, last week though that it had restricted Russian-backed outlets across the European Union and was globally demoting content from state-affiliated media.

It had also refused to stop fact-checking several Russian state media outlets, including RT and Sputnik.

In a statement by Russia’s media regulator: “Since October 2020, 26 cases of discrimination against Russian media and information resources by Facebook have been recorded.”

The statement stated that the ban on Facebook platforms has been initiated “to prevent violations of the key principles of the free flow of information”.

“We will continue to do everything we can to restore our services so they remain available to people to safely and securely express themselves and organize for action.” Meta responded.

The ban also comes after Russia’s Parliament passed a new law this week inflicting a jail term of up to 15 years for spreading intentionally “fake” news about the military.

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