Russia has blocked Facebook and twitter access.
This comes amid a crackdown on demonstrators and independent media outlets.
Russian telecommunications regulator, Roskomnadzor, said the decision to block Facebook was made in response to the platform’s alleged “discrimination” against Russian media, citing 26 cases since October 2020.
Nick Clegg, president of global affairs for Facebook’s parent company, Meta, said in a statement on Twitter: “Soon, millions of ordinary Russians will find themselves cut off from reliable information, deprived of their everyday ways of connecting with family and friends and silenced from speaking out. We will continue to do everything we can to restore our services so they remain available to people to safely and securely express themselves and organize for action.”
Early Friday evening, Meta released another statement announcing advertisers in Russia would be cut off from Facebook: “Despite the Russian government’s announcement that they will be blocking Facebook, we are working to keep our services available to the greatest extent possible. However, due to the difficulties of operating in Russia at this time, ads targeting people in Russia will be paused, and advertisers within Russia will no longer be able to create or run ads anywhere in the world, including within Russia.”
Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation, confirmed the Twitter ban in a Telegram post, and likened the move to something out of a George Orwell book.
A spokesperson for Twitter told CBS News that while the company is aware of reports of a ban, the platform does not currently see anything “significantly different” from what it has previously shared.
The stripped access followed moves by Russia on Thursday to cut entry to several foreign news organizations’ websites, including the BBC, Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Deutsche Welle and other media outlets.