Russia gives Twitter one month to remove banned content or be blocked

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An official at a Russian telecommunications watchdog warned that Moscow will block Twitter in one month unless the platform complies with demands to remove banned content.

“Twitter has not properly responded to our requests. If the things go the same way, it will be blocked out of court in a month,” Vadim Subbotin, deputy head of Roskomnadzor, told the Interfax News Agency

Twitter declined to comment in response to the Russian warning. 

Subbotin’s comments escalate an ongoing battle between Russia and Twitter. 

Last week, Russia announced it would slow down Twitter’s upload speeds if the platform didn’t follow the Kremlin’s demands for the content to be taken down. 

Roskomnadzor alleged the social media platform had not taken down more than 3,000 posts containing banned content including information regarding drugs, child pornography and increasing suicide among minors. 

A Twitter spokesperson at the time said the platform’s policies already outline a range of prohibited behavior including content that involves child sexual exploitation or promoting suicide or self-harm. 

“Let us be clear — we have a zero-tolerance policy regarding child sexual exploitation, it is against the Twitter Rules to promote, glorify or encourage suicide and self harm, and we do not allow the use of Twitter for any unlawful behaviour or to further illegal activities, including the buying and selling of drugs,” the spokesperson told The Hill last week. 

Russia’s decision to slow down Twitter’s upload speeds came after authorities in the nation sued Twitter and other social media platforms regarding decisions to keep up certain posts about February’s protests over the detention of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. 

Twitter has also played a role in protestors communicating as they demonstrated against Navalny’s detention.

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