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Russian Twitter slowdown to last into May

Russian Twitter slowdown to last into May
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Russia's government will throttle data to and from Twitter for users in the country for at least another month as the company works to remove banned content.

Reuters reported that the state communications agency, Roskomnadzor, said in a statement that the slowdown would continue until May 15.

A Twitter spokesperson confirmed to The Hill that its representatives had held talks with Russia's government, while affirming Twitter's support for all persons' right to a free and open internet.

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"We had a constructive conversation with Roskomnadzor on Thursday, where we re-affirmed Twitter’s zero-tolerance policy regarding child sexual exploitation and emphasized that it is against our rules to promote, glorify or encourage suicide and self harm, and reiterated that we do not allow the use of Twitter for any unlawful behavior or to further illegal activities. It was a productive discussion about how we can both work to ensure that reports of such illegal content are dealt with expeditiously," said the spokesperson.

The company lashed out at Russia's government last month for attempts to "block and throttle online public conversation," The Moscow Times noted.

At issue is content on the platform that reportedly shows support for widespread anti-corruption protests in Moscow, some of which Russian officials argue is illegally targeted toward children.

"Roskomnadzor will continue to cooperate with Twitter management until the social network completely deletes all banned information in the quickest possible manner," the agency said, according to The Moscow Times.

Russian officials say that the content — as well as other posts that include child pornography, drug abuse references, and pro-suicide posts — is still on the platform long past the 24-hour time frame allowed under Russian law for its deletion.

--Updated at 9:35 a.m.