Russia said on Wednesday it was slowing down the speed of Twitter in retaliation for its alleged failure to remove banned content, and threatened a total block if the U.S. platform did not comply with its deletion demands.
The move, which escalates a growing stand-off between Moscow and U.S. social media firms, comes weeks after Russian authorities accused Twitter and others of failing to delete posts it said illegally urged children to take part in anti-Kremlin protests.
The New York Times reports:
Twitter — and to a much greater extent, Facebook’s Instagram and Google’s YouTube — have given Russians ways to speak, report and organize openly even though the Kremlin controls the television airwaves.
Those social networks, along with Chinese-owned TikTok, played a pivotal role in the anti-Kremlin protests that accompanied the return and imprisonment of the opposition leader Aleksei A. Navalny this year.
Mr. Navalny has some 2.5 million Twitter followers, and his investigation published in January into a purported secret palace of Mr. Putin was viewed more than 100 million times on YouTube.
— Reuters World (@ReutersWorld) March 10, 2021