Russia’s Media Watchdog Ready for Dialogue With Twitter

Russia’s media watchdog (the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media – Roskomnadzor) is ready for dialogue with Twitter, but the company does not respond to inquiries and demands, Chief of the Department of Control and Supervision of Electronic Communications of Roskomnadzor Evgeny Zaitsev said on Friday, TASS reported.

“Our claims remain unanswered. No one contacted us, there are no answers to our questions,” he said, adding, “We are ready for any dialogue, as long as it exists.”

He added that Twitter could challenge the slowdown in its work in Russia in court, but there has also been no reaction so far.

On March 10, the watchdog announced it had taken measures for primary slowdown of the speed of Twitter on 100% of mobile and 50% of desktop devices due to the violation of the Russian legislation by the social network.

“In order to protect Russian citizens and force the Internet service to comply with the legislation on the territory of the Russian Federation, from March 10, 2021, [the regulator] has taken centralized response measures regarding Twitter, namely: primary slowdown of the service speed in accordance with the regulations. The slowdown will be implemented on 100% of mobile devices and 50% of desktop devices,” the watchdog said.

The regulator specified that as of March 10, the social network had not removed 3,168 pieces of content with prohibited information. It concerns files that contain information about the ways of committing suicide, calls for committing suicide, as well as child pornography and information about the methods of making and using drugs. Roskomnadzor sent over 28,000 initial and repeated requests to remove illegal links and publications.

On February 1, a law came into force in Russia, which requires social networks to independently identify and block prohibited content. Social networks are required to take immediate measures to restrict access to prohibited information.