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Russia accuses Facebook of violating the rights of banned publications

Moscow: Russia accused Facebook today of violating citizens’ rights by blocking the content of some media outlets in the recent confrontation between the government and Big Tech.

Communication watchdog Roskomnadzor over the weekend threatened Facebook with a fine of at least a million acorns and demanded to restore access to content published by Tass News, the daily RBC Business and the newspaper Vzglyad.

It said Facebook withheld posts related to Russia’s detention of alleged supporters of a Ukrainian far-right group.

I think this is unacceptable. “It violates our national legislation,” said Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of the lower house of the Russian parliament and a member of President Vladimir Putin’s ruling United Russia party.

In a statement, Volodin said Facebook had violated basic rights to publish and receive information, and legislation would be proposed to preserve Russia’s “digital sovereignty”.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Like other countries, including Australia in a major dispute with Facebook and India in dispute with Twitter, Russia has in recent months taken steps to regulate and curb the power of major social media companies.

Bills passed in December allow Russia to impose significant purposes on platforms that do not delete blocked content and restrict access to US social media companies if they are perceived as discriminating against Russian media.

“They are working in our environment, but at the same time they do not abide by any Russian laws,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told the RIA news agency today.

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