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Russia will not block Twitter, but a partial slowdown to continue

MOSCOW (AP) – Russian authorities on Monday stopped threatening to block Twitter, saying the social media platform had removed most of Moscow’s banned content, expressing “willingness” to build a constructive dialogue.

Russia’s state communications watchdog Roskomnadzor has said it has decided not to block Twitter in light of these developments, a statement that appears to put an end to the Russian government’s “platform” controversy that has played a role in dissent in Russia. in the case of magnification.

Two months ago, Roskomnadzor accused Twitter of promoting child suicide, as well as failing to remove information about drugs and child pornography. The agency announced on March 10 that it was slowing down the platform to download photos, videos and desktops, both on desktops and mobile devices, and threatened to block it a week later if it continued to fail.

In response to the allegations, Twitter stressed its policy of promoting zero tolerance for child sexual exploitation, suicide and drug trafficking.

Roskomnadzor said in an online statement on Monday that Twitter had lowered 91% of its banned content to just 563 posts containing child pornography, drug and suicide information, and urged minors to take part in protests. materials from about 5900 others.

As the platform “affirmed that it fully shares the agency’s efforts to combat socially dangerous content, will take all necessary measures to remove it,” “expressed its willingness and interest in building a constructive dialogue,” Roskomnadzor said it decided not to block it.

But it will continue to slow down Twitter on mobile devices until all banned content has been removed, and the platform will start downloading blocked content within 24 hours of being notified in accordance with Russian law.

“The agency appreciates Twitter’s efforts to comply with Russian law,” said Roskomnadzor.

Twitter said in a statement on Monday that it welcomed Russia’s decision not to block it.

“Free and open internet access is an essential right of all citizens, which also protects free expression and promotes fair competition,” the statement said. “We are deeply committed to providing secure service to accounts around the world, including in Russia. “Within the framework of this program, we will continue to have a constructive dialogue with Roskomnadzor in the future.”

According to Twitter, it has removed or restricted access to all content flagged by Roskomnadzor that falls under the platform’s current policy.

Russian authorities criticized social media platforms earlier this year for taking tens of thousands of people to the streets in January to demand the release of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, a well-known critic of President Vladimir Putin. The wave of visits was the biggest in recent years, a serious challenge for the Kremlin.

Authorities said social media platforms had failed to remove calls for children to join the protests. Putin called on the police to take more steps to monitor social media platforms and track down those who engage children in “illegal, unauthorized street activities.”

Efforts by the Russian government to tighten control over the Internet and social media began in 2012, when a law was passed that allowed the authorities to list it and block certain online content. Since then, restrictions on messaging apps, websites and social media platforms have been introduced in Russia.

The government has repeatedly threatened to block Facebook and Twitter, but has stopped direct bans. Probably because he fears that this move will cause great public outrage. Only the LinkedIn social network, which was not very popular in Russia, was banned by the authorities for not keeping its user data in Russia.


Associated Press writer Calvin Chan has invested in London.


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