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Russia blocks Facebook, accusing it of restricting access to Russian media -Breaking

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© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: The Facebook logo was placed on this Russian flag illustration, taken February 26th 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

By Elizabeth Culliford

(Reuters] – Russia has blocked Meta Platforms Inc.s Facebook (NASDAQ), the nation’s communications regulator stated Friday in response to Russian restrictions that it claimed were affecting access to Russian media.

Roskomnadzor (the regulator) stated that there have been 26 discriminatory actions against Russian media on Facebook in the past year. The access to Russian state-backed channels such as RT and RIA was limited.

Nick Clegg, Meta’s global affairs head, stated that the company will continue to make every effort to recover its services.

In a Twitter statement (NYSE:) he stated that “Soon million of ordinary Russians will be cut off from reliable Information, deprived from their daily ways of connecting to family and friends, and silenced from speaking up.”

Meta said this week it had blocked access to RT/Sputnik in the European Union. Meta was also degrading global content from Russian state-controlled media outlets’ Instagram and Facebook accounts.

Moscow announced last week it is partially restricting access to Facebook. The move was made after Russia refused a request from the government to stop independent fact-checking at several Russian state media outlets. Twitter stated that some Russian users were being blocked from its services by Saturday.

Social media and tech companies face pressure from governments to react to Russia’s invasion Ukraine last Thursday. This has resulted in economic sanctions being imposed on Moscow. Russia describes its actions in Ukraine as a “special operations.”

Roskomnadzor claimed Meta had denied access to state-backed news outlets’ accounts in the last days. This included RT and Sputnik.

They claimed that such restrictions are incompatible with the fundamental principles of information freedom and Russian internet users’ free access to Russian media.

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