Russia backs off threat to block Twitter

Platform has sped up efforts to remove content that local regulators deemed illegal

Vladimir Putin’s government has ratcheted up pressure on social media due to posts that promoted protests over the jailing of opposition leader Alexey Navalny earlier this year. Photograph: Alexei Druzhinin/AFP

Vladimir Putin’s government has ratcheted up pressure on social media due to posts that promoted protests over the jailing of opposition leader Alexey Navalny earlier this year. Photograph: Alexei Druzhinin/AFP

 

Russia backed off a threat to block Twitter, saying the social media platform has sped up efforts to remove content that local regulators deemed illegal.

Twitter had a video conference with Russian regulators on April 1st and is now deleting content that promotes illegal activity or pornography at a faster rate, internet watchdog Roskomnadzor said in a statement Monday.

In a move that raised fears of tighter controls over the internet, the regulator last month made content on Twitter slower to load and threatened to fully block the service within a month if it doesn’t delete flagged content.

The slowdown will be extended until May 15th to give Twitter time to remove additional content, Roskomnadzor said.

Twitter didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

Previously, the company expressed concerns about attempts to throttle online conversations and said it did not allow its platform to be used to promote illegal activities.

The government has ratcheted up pressure on social media due to posts that promoted protests over the jailing of opposition leader Alexey Navalny earlier this year. Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and Google are also facing the threat of fines for not removing content. – Bloomberg