Russia extends Twitter slowdown until mid-May

Published April 6, 2021
Moscow has traditionally taken a more hands-off role in policing the internet than neighbouring China. — AFP/File
Moscow has traditionally taken a more hands-off role in policing the internet than neighbouring China. — AFP/File

MOSCOW: Russia said on Monday it would extend a punitive slowdown of Twitter until May 15, though it acknowledged the US social media company had speeded up deletion of what Moscow calls banned content.

Moscow has traditionally taken a more hands-off role in policing the internet than neighbouring China. But as friction has grown this year over the arrest and jailing of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, it has signalled a tougher line.

Russia has since March impeded the speed of Twitter for not removing content it deems illegal, and threatened to block it entirely. Photos and videos take longer to load for some users.

However, in a statement on Monday, state communications watchdog Roskomnadzor said Twitter had held talks with Russian authorities on April 1, resulting in an agreement to give it more time and a recognition that banned content was being deleted more quickly.

Twitter confirmed the talks with Russia. “It was a productive discussion about how we can both work to ensure that reports of such illegal content are dealt with expeditiously,” it said in a statement.

Published in Dawn, April 6th, 2021

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