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Russian state regulator Roskomnadzor asks TikTok to remove videos encouraging attendees at unsanctioned protests this weekend

Russian state regulator Roskomnadzor asks TikTok to remove videos encouraging attendees at unsanctioned protests this weekend
Moscow has demanded the popular video-sharing app TikTok stop distributing videos that encourage minors to participate in illegal protests. The move comes after the app was flooded with videos advertising upcoming demonstrations.

Large-scale marches are being arranged by supporters of the jailed opposition figure Alexey Navalny, who has called for people to take to the streets to demand his release from custody. With the user base of TikTok skewed at the very young, the authorities say that the published videos could encourage those underage to engage in illegal activity.

“Based on the request of the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation, a notification was sent to the TikTok social network about the need to delete information involving minors in illegal actions,” a Roskomnadzor statement says.

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The concern about young people attending Saturday’s protests seems to have extended to schoolteachers, with some colleges and universities warning their students against joining in. Social media users have reported receiving messages from their educational intuitions with warnings that they could be arrested and sent to prison for the “organization of riots.”

On Monday, after he was sentenced to 30 days in pre-trial detention, Navalny called for his followers to protest against his arraignment. The Moscow government has refused to authorize the march, citing Covid-19 safety.

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