Russian authorities have announced that they intend to block access to Facebook inside Russia, according to an announcement from Roskomnadzor, the government body responsible for censorship and media control.
“On March 4, 2022, a decision was made to block access to the Facebook network (owned by Meta Platforms, Inc.) in the Russian Federation,” the translated version of the announcement reads. Russia has been increasingly limiting access to social media and shutting down what remained of its independent press since its invasion of Ukraine last week.
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The announcement pointed to what it described as “discrimination” against Russian media by Facebook. It mentioned that Facebook has restricted access to accounts belonging to Russia Today, Sputnik, and a handful of other Russian sources. The announcement claims Roskomnadzor has recorded 26 cases of such discrimnation since October 2020.
Ironically, the announcement on Roskomnadzor’s official website includes a button that allows users to share it directly on Facebook.
“Soon millions of ordinary Russians will find themselves cut off from reliable information, deprived of their everday 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,” Nick Clegg, president of global affairs at Facebook parent company Meta, said in a tweeted statement.
When Motherboard accessed Facebook from a Moscow IP address shortly after the announcement, the site was still accessible.
Earlier this month, Russia partially blocked Facebook for restricting some Russian sources of information.