The Russian government plans to partially restrict access to Facebook starting on Friday, according to a report from state-owned media.
The Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti reported on Friday that the vl, the government body that regulates telecommunications and the internet in the country, has issued the order and accused Facebook of being involved in violations of the rights and freedoms of Russian citizens.
RIA Novosti posted Roskomnadzor’s announcement on its official Telegram page. The language of the announcement is vague on what the restriction will actually look like, and accuses Facebook of blocking Russian media outlets RIA Novosti, Lenta.ru and gazeta.ru.
Facebook’s spokesperson Nick Clegg released a statement on Twitter saying that the Russian government ordered the company to stop fact-checking Russian state-owned media organizations on its platform.
“We refused,” he added. “Ordinary Russians are using our apps to express themselves and organize for actions. We want them to continue to make their voices heard, share what’s happening and organize.”
The Russian embassy in Washington D.C. also did not respond to an email asking for a comment.
This is not the first time the Russian government put pressure on the social media giant. Last year, a Russian court fined Facebook and Twitter for not deleting content that the country deems as illegal.
The news comes as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which started in the early morning of Thursday, pushes toward the country’s capital in Kyiv.
UPDATE, 2:33 p.m. ET: This story was updated to add Nick Clegg’s statement.