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Sunday, March 26, 2023

Russia blocks country’s access to Facebook

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Russia is blocking access to Facebook amid its invasion of Ukraine as it seeks to crack down on social media and dissenting views on the war within its borders.

The government said the move against Facebook is due to the platform’s “discrimination against Russian news media,” The New York Times reported.

Facebook immediately decried the decision, which it said would further cut off ordinary Russians from truthful information about their country’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Soon millions of ordinary Russians will find themselves cut off from reliable information, deprived of their everyday ways of connecting with family and friends and silenced from speaking out,” Meta President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg wrote in a statement on Twitter. Meta is Facebook’s parent company.

“We will continue to do everything we can to restore our services so they remain available to people to safely and securely express themselves and organize for action,” he added.

Facebook has made several moves against Russia during the course of the war as the state-run outlets have been perpetuating misinformation around the invasion.

Facebook originally said at the beginning of the invasion it would block Russian outlets from earning ad revenue on its platform.

Days ago, the platform took further action by saying it would restrict Russian state media from its platform across Europe.

The latest move occurred on March 1 when Meta, Facebook’s parent company, announced it would demote Russian-backed outlets so they would be harder to find on the platform, as well.

Similar actions to restrict Russian-backed media outlets occurred on other platforms such as Twitter and YouTube.

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