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Russia blocks access to Facebook

Facebook's Nick Clegg warned that banning the social media platform will leave Russians "cut off from reliable information" and "silenced from speaking out."
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Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Staff Writer on

Russian communications agency Roskomnadzor on Friday announced it's blocking access to Facebook, alleging the US social media giant has discriminated against Russian media and information resources. The move comes as Russian citizens are organizing to express opposition to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

Nick Clegg, Facebook's president of global affairs and the former UK deputy prime minister, warned that banning the social media platform will leave Russians "cut off from reliable information" and "silenced from speaking out." 

The Russian government said that, since October 2020, it's documented 26 cases in which Facebook has discriminated against Russian media. It cited Facebook's recent decision to restrict access to accounts belonging to state-backed media outlets Russia Today and Sputnik, as well as other accounts. Facebook's decision, Roskomnadzor said, violates Russian law. 

Clegg just a few days ago said the Russian government was already throttling Facebook and Instagram to make it more difficult for Russian citizens to see certain content. He said the company was facing pressure from governments across the world to limit the spread of content from Russian state-backed media sources.

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