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Russia slows down Twitter over non-removal of banned content

DUBLIN: Russian authorities have confirmed that they have slowed down the speed of uploading of photos and videos to Twitter due to its failure to remove banned content.

Authorities instructed the platform to remove the content encouraging suicide among children and containing information about drugs and child pornography. But the state communications watchdog, Roskomnadzor, said the “disciplinary action” was initiated because Twitter was not ready for it.

The agency warned that Twitter would be completely blocked if it refused to comply with Russian law. The watchdog said it expects a positive response from Twitter.

Twitter is the only social media platform that has “openly ignored the Russian authorities’ demand to remove the banned content,” said, Vadim Subbotin, deputy chief of Roskomnadzor.

The move against Twitter comes after the Russian authorities criticised social media platforms for uniting tens of thousands of people across Russia this year to demand the release of jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

The authorities have also criticised platforms for failing to remove calls for children to take part in opposition protests which is against the law in Russia.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the government did not want to block anything. But he added that compliance with the law was essential.

The move against Twitter is seen as part of the government’s ongoing efforts to tighten controls on social platforms.

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