The relationship between Russia and the United States has not been anything to write home about for decades. Or tweet. And if you do, it has recently happened with some delay, if you live in Russia. A Russian court has now also fined Twitter.
A court in Russia has imposed three fines on Twitter totaling 8.9 million rubles (almost 100,000 euros) for not removing messages from its platform that Moscow says are banned. These include messages calling on teenagers to participate in prohibited protests.
I get your frustration and anger and it’s going to be weird and sad not having you around anymore 😭
– SONIΔ 🇫🇷 ReOrchestrated (@AnchorToMyBrain) April 1, 2021
Russian authorities slowed internet speed when using Twitter last month and threatened to ban the messaging service. Internet watchdog Roskomnadzor stated that Twitter had failed to remove illegal content. Stories about, for example, child pornography and drug abuse are said to be circulating.
Twitter has not yet responded. The company previously said it was concerned about the impact of the Russian measures on freedom of expression and denied allowing the platform to be used to promote behavior that is illegal in Russia.
An estimated 3 percent of Russians use Twitter. Among them Kremlin critic Alexei Navalni, now on hunger strike in a concentration camp-like prison, and his allies. Those allies regularly take to the streets to protest against Putin, even now they take to the streets in disguise and with torches to protest against “the twitching” of Twitter.
In St. Petersburg, participants of the torchlight procession with the flags of Roskomnadzor were detained; they protest the throttling of Twitter. Photo: @ merr1k / Mediazona https://t.co/K8EtPaVP8u via @mediazzzona #Russia pic.twitter.com/qbAfErcgpL
– Liveuamap (@Liveuamap) March 30, 2021
Russia often fines foreign internet companies for not respecting the law, but the fines are low when compared to their profits. As of this week, smartphones, tablets and computers in Russia must be equipped with Russian software and apps. Opponents see this as a further undermining of internet freedom.
Responses to Russia
On social media people wonder aloud what the next step of Russia could be. “A separate Russian Internet?”
First step: Threaten to ban Twitter. Next: A separate Russian internet?
Posters and tape placed by a protester are seen at the office of Russian communications watchdog Roskomnadzor in central St. Petersburg, Russia, March 10, 2019.https: //t.co/uAJdpq9PWg
– PrivacyDigest (@PrivacyDigest) March 27, 2021
Meanwhile, Twittering Russians are fed up with the watchdog. “Loading photos and videos is extremely slow. Twitter is increasingly becoming the Twitter it once was, when only text was displayed. ” They also express their anger on Twitter.
these bastards from roskomnadzor wanna ban twitter all around the country, i hope vpn will work, but i’m not even hoping, we can expect any shit from these idiots
– murphy is ReOrchestrated off △ (@introwertism) April 1, 2021
Thanks to @roscomnadzor slowing down Twitter in Russia, pics and vids load extremely slow. As a result, Twitter become more like old good times Twitter that only allowed text :)))
– IriySoft (@IriySoft) March 30, 2021
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