Twitter agrees to block access to extremist accounts in Russia
MOSCOW, June 23 (RAPSI) – Microblogging service Twitter Inc. has agreed to block access in Russia to accounts of about a dozen extremist organizations, including Ukraine’s Right Sector, head of the telecom regulator Roskomnadzor Alexander Zharov told journalists.
Twitter found itself in the midst of a scandal this May, when Zharov’s deputy, Maxim Ksenzov, told Izvestia newspaper that Twitter violated Russian legislation and that access to it could be blocked in Russia.
Zharov said that Twitter Vice President Colin Crowell and he discussed cooperation under the relative laws, which stipulate that postings about extremism, child pornography, drugs and suicide must be deleted.
They also discussed a law on bloggers, which will come into effect on August 1. Under it, bloggers with 3,000 or more readers (about 30,000 people) are considered to be comparable to media outlets and therefore liable for content and subject to regulation.
Roskomnadzor promised to translate the law and accompanying bylaws into English by mid-July and to forward the translations to Twitter.
The telecom regulator said on its website that following the meeting, it provided Twitter with detailed information on 12 accounts with posts that were declared extremist by decision of the Prosecutor General’s Office.
“Roskomnadzor hopes that Twitter administration will take a positive decision and will delete these accounts or limit access to them in Russia,” the regulator said in a statement.
Both parties also agreed to regularly discuss the provisions of Russian legislation with Twitter management in Dublin.
In February Russia introduced a regulation that gives authorities the power to block websites that are deemed either extremist or a threat to public order without a court ruling.