Earlier this week, Facebook announced restrictions to Russian media to “limit the spread of misinformation” about the war in Ukraine. Russia demanded that Facebook stop “fact-checking” content about the war on its platform, something Facebook refused to do.
Meta’s Vice President of global affairs Nick Clegg said the company would create a “Special Operations Center” to monitor content and curb the “abuse” of its platform. Clegg added that Facebook plans to take “extensive steps to fight the spread of misinformation, and labeling content from state-controlled media and content that fact-checkers have rated false.”
Russia appears to have retaliated by announcing it would restrict the social media platform.
The Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti said on Friday the Roskomnadzor, the government department that regulates telecommunications and the internet in the country, issued an order against Facebook.
The Roskomnadzor and the Prosecutor General’s Office said on February 25 that they have, “in agreement with the Foreign Ministry, decided to recognize the social network Facebook as involved in the violation of fundamental human rights and freedoms, as well as the rights and freedoms of Russian citizens.”
The announcement was vague in terms of what or how the platforms would be restricted but early reports suggest that Facebook Messenger is the most affected as users are having difficulty connecting.
It now appears to have also done the same with Twitter.
The Kremlin has increased restrictions on both platforms, mere hours after Twitter banned Russians from advertising on its platform.
The decision to block access to Twitter followed Russia’s move hours earlier to restrict access to Facebook in the country as the government seeks to control the narrative around its invasion of Ukraine.
The Twitter blocking was first noticed by NetBlocks, a group that monitors internet outages around the world.
“Network data show that access to the Twitter platform and back-end servers are restricted on leading networks including Rostelecom, MTS, Beeline, and MegaFon as of 9:00 a.m. Saturday morning,” NetBlocks reported.