Common question: Why is Russia tightening its grip on social media


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Is Russia serious about curbing the Internet? It looks like this, judging by the dramatic shift in tone. Everyone from Russian President Vladimir Putin to the head of the Investigation Commission (Russia’s Federal Bureau of Investigation) speaks firmly of the need for tighter controls on Russian cyberspace and foreign social media companies. Twitter is ordered to slow down, accusing it of failing to remove the blocked content. The Kremlin cited leaflets it claimed encouraged young people to join anti-government protests and glorious suicide. “They might be Rambo on the Internet, pushing a boy or girl to jump from the roof of the house, but when the police find these freaks, they will,” said Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of the Kremlin RT. One of her posts. Ironically, she made the call on Twitter, but why now? It is a sensitive time.Russian authorities are facing parliamentary elections in September, the first since Putin made changes that enable him to stay in power until 2036, and Putin’s government is facing new sanctions because of Western accusations of using a banned nerve gas to poison the country’s leading opposition figure, Alexei Navalny His imprisonment in January sparked mass protests in more than 100 cities, with Roskomnadzor Vice President Vadim Sobutin saying on Thursday that the Twitter slowdown had nothing to do with opposition protests. , Ranking it 51st out of 65 countries in the field of internet freedom.The Internet in Russia operated relatively freely until 2012, when the government passed a law enabling it to shut down websites, after the mass protests Yeh. In 2019, the government passed a “sovereign internet” law designed to allow Russia to effectively switch to blocking content. Internet providers must install devices so that content can be monitored, and earlier this month, Roskomnadzor announced accusations against Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Telegram, TikTok, and the Russian sites VKontakte and Odnoklassniki, saying they had failed to remove the content it allegedly encouraged. Children participate in protest or suicide actions. Vkontakte was fined 1.5 million rubles, which is just over $ 20,000. There was no public announcement of further action against others, so how did social media companies respond? Twitter released a statement on Wednesday expressing its deep concern about the content restriction measure, adding that it has a zero-tolerance policy on child sexual abuse and the head of the Communications Supervision and Supervision Department in Roskomnadzor, Yevgeny Zaitsev, said Friday that Twitter did not respond to its concerns nor did it respond to questions. He said, “We are ready for any dialogue, if only it exists.” Telegram, an encrypted messaging app popular with small independent Russian news organizations and opposition activists, has managed to stay on top of Russian regulators since they tried to shut it down in 2018.The site changes its website addresses frequently, and the platform has been used as a main organizing tool for protest movements in Russia and neighboring Belarus. “It confused the minds,” said Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on September 9 and complained that “Internet and Telegram channels penetrate deeply into people’s brains.” What stands in Putin’s way? Blocking foreign social media sites would trigger a massive backlash. Young Russians have grown up with YouTube, Facebook, and more recently Instagram, TikTok, and Telegram. They do not watch the harsh publicity on state television. Russia’s internet control system may mean low network speeds that could lag behind advanced technology such as artificial intelligence, driverless vehicles, and “Internet of Things” technology. Russia’s measures to slow Twitter “send a very bad signal” to the Russian tech industry and social media users, a Russian internet analyst said on Wednesday. He said: “It shows that there are people in the Kremlin who do not care about the consequences of their actions if they help them protect political stability.” Ellen Nakashima in Washington contributed to this report.


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