The Kremlin’s social media watch dog Roskomnadzor has partially shut down the social media application Twitter in the Russian Federation over a legal dispute.
“Starting March 10, 2021, centralized response measures have been taken against Twitter to protect Russian citizens and force the internet service to comply with Russian legislation,” Roskomnadzor said in a statement.
Roskomnadzor said it will slow down Twitter — which polls say is used by 3% of Russians — on all Russian cellphones and half of its desktops. The slowdown will mainly affect photo and video content on Twitter, the watchdog said, reported The Moscow Times.
Twitter could face heavy fines for not removing 3,000 posts containing information about suicide, child pornography and drugs since 2017, Roskomnadzor said last week.
“It involves slowing down the transmission of photo and video content, without limiting transmission of text messages. Thus, users will be able to smoothly exchange messages,” said Deputy Head of the federal agency Vadim Subbotin told reporters on Wednesday, reported Russian state news agency TASS.
“Starting today, Roskomnadzor (Russian media watchdog – TASS) has taken measures of a centralized response, namely, decelerated the service’s loading speed. The slowdown will cover 100% of mobile traffic and 50% of fixed traffic,” he said.
Subbotin stressed that, when choosing an enforcement measure for Twitter, the federal agency proceeded from the goal that inconvenience for users of the social network should be minimal.
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