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18 May, 2021 09:15

Russia announces it won’t be blocking Twitter after American tech giant deletes thousands of posts at behest of state regulator

Russia announces it won’t be blocking Twitter after American tech giant deletes thousands of posts at behest of state regulator

Russia has revealed it will not block access to Twitter, after the US-based social network complied with the vast majority (91%) of requests from the country’s media regulator Roskomnadzor to remove illegally shared content.

The state body also explained that it would partially lift the measures it had introduced that had throttled the website’s speed. In March, Roskomnadzor announced it would slow down the popular microblogging service, after it refused to remove content deemed illegal, supposedly including child pornography and information about drugs. Later, Twitter was given a May 15 deadline to remove all such posts – totaling more than 6,000 – or risk being banned in Russia.

“Checks show that Twitter moderators have removed more than 91% of the banned information,” a Roskomnadzor statement read on Monday. “The agency assesses Twitter’s efforts to comply with the requirements of Russian legislation positively.”

Also on rt.com Russian Foreign Ministry says Twitter no longer independent social media, but a tool of 'digital diktat' under control of West

Due to the social network’s actions, the government body has backed down from its threat to block the website, and has removed access restrictions for those browsing on wi-fi, while keeping the speed of mobile access throttled until 100% of the illegal posts are deleted.

Roskomnadzor also noted that other social networks, such as Facebook and YouTube, should take similar appropriate measures, or would become subject to similar sanctions.

The latest episode is a significant shift from the recent conflict between Russia and Twitter. Earlier this year, the social network removed 100 accounts it alleged were linked to the Kremlin for “undermining faith in the NATO alliance” and “targeting the United States and European Union.” In response, the regulator demanded a list of all the affected users and an explanation for why each had been blocked.

Twitter’s actions led to a strong rebuke from the Foreign Ministry, with spokesperson Maria Zakharova blasting the US tech giant as a tool of Western countries wishing to impose a “global digital diktat.”

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