For years, Moscow has been attempting to exercise control over the internet, and this Friday, Russian authorities announced they had restricted local access to Facebook.
According to Meta, their internal fact-checking was an attempt to limit the amount of disinformation on its platform, while Russian authorities considered that the restrictions were “censorship” upon its Kremlin-backed media and decided to restrict its residents’ access to Facebook.
“Yesterday, Russian authorities ordered us to stop the independent fact-checking and labeling of content posted to Facebook by four Russian state-owned media organizations. We refused. As a result, they have announced they will be restricting the use of our services,” Meta’s head of global affairs, Nick Clegg, said in a statement. He further stated that “ordinary Russians” were using the platform to “express themselves and organize for action”.
On the other side, Roskomnadzor, the state communications regulator claimed Facebook had neglected its requests to lift restrictions on a few Russian media outlets on its platform and that it had found Facebook “guilty of limiting fundamental human rights and freedoms, as well as the rights and freedoms of Russian citizens”.