In response to restrictions imposed by the social network on state media content, the Kremlin has taken away access to Meta.
On Friday, Russian officials announced that they had limited local access to Meta after the firm took action against four Kremlin-backed media outlets’ pages.
According to the country’s communications agency, Facebook’s parent firm Meta had violated “fundamental human rights and freedoms, as well as the rights and freedoms of Russian citizens,” by restricting access to certain material from Zvezda TV channel, RIA Novosti news service, and Lenta.ru and Gazeta.ru news sites.
Nick Clegg, Meta’s vice president of global affairs and a former deputy prime minister of the United Kingdom, stated that Moscow on Thursday had ordered Thursday to cease independent fact-checking on the platform as well as not label material from the four outlets identifying its connection to the Kremlin.
“We refused,” Clegg stated in a tweet. “As a result, they have announced that our service will be limited.”
Ordinary Russians are using @Meta's apps to express themselves and organize for action. We want them to continue to make their voices heard, share what’s happening, and organize through Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger. pic.twitter.com/FjTovgslCe— Nick Clegg (@nickclegg) February 25, 2022
The conflict between Meta and Russia takes place at a difficult time for social media platforms, as unverified social media accounts and Kremlin-linked news sites continue to spread despite the firms taking some measures to restrict its distribution.
The amount of engagement on Twitter, for example, has gone up by 20% since yesterday among the top five international media outlets owned by the Kremlin, according to data from CrowdTangle, the social media analytics firm that is also owned by Meta.
It’s uncertain how far the Russian government has gone in restricting access to Facebook within its borders. We were still able to access the platform, including three of Russia’s four media outlets, despite using a so-called virtual private network to pretend to be located in Russia.