Meta on Saturday criticised Russia’s move to restrict Facebook in the country, saying that it reacted in response to either Facebook’s fact-checking practices and its policy of labelling state-run media accounts.
The Russian government said on Friday that it will begin to “partially restrict” access to Facebook, after the social network put restrictions on four Russian state-linked media outlets — the television network Zvezda, news agency RIA Novosti, and the websites Lenta.ru and Gazeta.ru.
Nick Clegg, Global Affairs VP at Meta, tweeted that ordinary Russians are using Meta’s apps to express themselves and organize for action.
“We want them to continue to make their voices heard, share what’s happening, and organise through Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger,” he posted.
Earlier, Russia’s internet regulatory agency Roskomnadzor said that on February 24, Facebook social network (Meta Platforms) restricted the official accounts of four Russian media outlets.
“Roskomnadzor sent requests to the administration of Meta Platforms to remove the restrictions imposed by the social network on Russian media and explain the reason for their introduction. The owners of the social network ignored the requirements,” the agency said in a statement.
Since October 2020, Roskomnadzor said it has recorded 23 cases of such censorship of Russian media and Internet resources by Facebook.
On February 25, the Prosecutor General’s Office, in agreement with the Russian 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.
“In accordance with the decision of the Prosecutor General’s Office regarding the social network Facebook, starting from February 25, Roskomnadzor, in accordance with the law, takes measures to partially restrict access in the form of slowing down traffic,” it elaborated.