Russia’s media watchdog, Roskomnadzor, has imposed restrictions on Twitter by slowing down its speed across the country for its “failure” to remove banned content.
Roskomnadzor said in a statement placed on its website on March 10 that the measure is meant “to protect Russian citizens from the influence of illegal content.” It threatened to fully block the U.S. social network if it did not act.
According to Roskomnadzor, Twitter had 3,168 posts with banned content on its site as of March 10.
“One hundred percent of mobile gadgets and 50 percent of non-mobile devices will be affected by the measure to slow the service down. If Twitter continues to ignore the requirements of the law, enforcement measures will be continued in line with the response regulations [up to fully blocking the site],” Roskomnadzor’s statement added.
Roskomnadzor Deputy Chief Vadim Subbotin confirmed to the Interfax news agency on March 10 that the watchdog has the “technical capacity” to slow Twitter inside Russia and that it had already started to do so.
Subbotin added that “it is possible” similar measures could be imposed against other social networks such as Facebook in the future if they do not follow Russian regulations,
Moscow has been trying to curb social-media platforms in recent years amid increasing protests by citizens, especially younger Russians.
On February 1, a Russian law came into force that states social networks must themselves find and delete content banned by Russian laws. If a social network is unable to determine if content contains banned materials, it must send the content to Roskomnadzor for evaluation.