Russia blocks access to Facebook, Twitter in effort to censor media

Mar 4 2022, 7:32 pm

Russia’s federal agency responsible for monitoring, controlling, and censoring media in the country has blocked Facebook.

In a news release from Roskomnadzor, the agency cites 26 cases of discrimination against Russian media and information sources.

“In recent days, the social network has restricted access to accounts: the Zvezda TV channel, the RIA Novosti news agency, Sputnik, Russia Today, the and,” reads the statement.

Shortly after this statement, news reports surfaced of the country also blocking access to Twitter.

Twitter has been completely blocked in #Russia, according to the RKN Dump Check project,” tweeted Belarus-based media outlet NEXTA.

In a clear push to censor western media, there have also been reports of news sites being inaccessible in Russia. According to Agence France-Presse (AFP), its journalists weren’t able to access Facebook, as well as the sites of media outlets Meduza, Deutsche Welle, RFE-RL, and the BBC’s Russian-language service.

Latvian news outlet Meduza confirmed in a blog post that people in Russia will not be able to access its site.

“Roskomnadzor, Russia’s federal censor, confirms that it is now requiring internet service providers nationwide to restrict access to Meduza,” the post reads.

The Kremlin is expected to try to censor YouTube, Wikipedia, and Telegram next.

This comes as anti-war protests erupt across Eastern Europe, including cities in Russia.

In Canada, TV providers have responded to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by pulling Russian state-controlled channel RT from their lineups.

This is just another step that telecommunications companies have taken to support Ukraine. Last week, Canadian phone companies announced that they are waiving long-distance charges to Ukraine so that families in Canada can connect with their loved ones.

Media companies online are also trying to hit Russia where it hurts. On Saturday, YouTube also showed its support for Ukraine by barring Russian accounts from profiting off streams.

Isabelle DoctoIsabelle Docto

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