So, Russia has finally taken the decision to block Facebook. This is a part of an-ongoing effort to clampdown on free speech in the country. Russia’s communications agency Roskomnadzor cited 26 cases of discrimination against Meta-owned Facebook since October 2020.
“Since October 2020, 26 cases of discrimination against Russian media and information resources by Facebook have been recorded. In recent days, the social network has restricted access to accounts: the Zvezda TV channel, the RIA Novosti news agency, Sputnik, Russia Today, the Lenta.ru and Gazeta.ru information resources.”
Roskomnadzor’s announcement means users of Facebook will no longer have access to the platform. This of course, will affect free speech and deny millions of people information.
In response to the block, Meta president of global affairs Nick Clegg said via Twitter that:
“Soon millions of ordinary Russians will find themselves cut off from reliable information, deprived of their everyday 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.”
Russia had last week imposed a partial block on Facebook. The partial block came as the socialist country claimed that Facebook “restricted” the accounts of four Russian media outlets.
Russia’s regulatory body Roskomnadzor, announced in a statement that the social media network was violating “the rights and freedoms of Russian citizens,” where it claimed to have recorded 23 cases of “censorship” by Facebook since October 2020.
“On February 24, Roskomnadzor sent requests to the administration of Meta Platforms, Inc. [to] remove the restrictions imposed by the social network Facebook on Russian media and explain the reason for their introduction,” the Russian regulator said in the statement, adding that Meta “ignored” its requests.
Meanwhile, Meta has launched a one-click tool for people in Ukraine that enables them to lock their Facebook accounts. The social media giant also created a special operations center to track the Russian invasion of Ukraine as events unfold.
Following the taken over of power by the Taliban Islamic group in Kabul last August, Facebook announced a new one-click tool to help Afghans lock their accounts. The tool ensures that Afghans can quickly lockdown their Facebook accounts.
Also, Facebook temporarily removed the ability to view and search the “Friends” list for Facebook accounts in Afghanistan. This measure will protect people in that country from being targeted by the Taliban government.