Russia may ban US social media platforms

It seems that Russia wants to ban US social media platforms, as lawmakers in the Russian parliament presented today, Thursday, a bill that, if approved, would allow the government to restrict access to these platforms.

It is believed that American social media platforms discriminate against the Russian media.

The drafters, mostly from the ruling United Russia party, said they had received complaints from local outlets, such as Russia Today, RIA Novosti and Crimea 24, about Twitter, Facebook and YouTube suspending or rating the accounts.

In August, the Twitter platform began classifying the accounts of several Russian media outlets as state media, along with the accounts of senior Russian media employees and some key government officials, a move that Russia condemned at the time.

A memorandum attached to the document stated that the urgent need to adopt the bill is due to numerous cases of unjustified restrictions on Russian citizens’ access to information in the Russian media through some Internet resources, including those registered outside Russia.

In order for the bill to enter into force, it first needs the approval of the legislators in the State Duma, that is, the lower house of the Russian Parliament, before it is approved in the upper house of parliament and signed by the president (Vladimir Putin).

According to the draft, the Russian Attorney General and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs identify platforms that restrict access to socially important information on the basis of nationality or language or in connection with the imposition of sanctions on Russia or its citizens.

The draft said: Roskomnadzor, the communications watchdog, then has the power to block those platforms in whole or in part.

Russia has long sought to increase control over internet use within its territory, and the Federal Security Service (FSB) has ordered some of the country’s major internet companies to give them continuous access to their systems, according to February reports.

Russia banned the Microsoft-owned Linkedin platform, the professional networking platform LinkedIn, after a court found that it had violated a database, which was passed in in 2015, which requires storing all data about Russian citizens in the country.

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