Twitter launches dedicated Tor onion service for Russian users

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Days after Russia blocked Twitter from its space, the social media giant has launched a dedicated Tor onion service for people in that country. Tor onion will enable Twitter users in Russia bypass Russia’s internet blocks aimed at suppressing free speech.

Twitter listed several supported browsers that can be used along with Tor onion to access its site in Russia. Some of these supported browsers include Edge, Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. The company also announced that any browser based on Webkit / Chromium engines (Opera, Samsung Internet, UCBrowser, etc.) will also work with Tor.

In a tweet announcing Twitter’s Tor onion service, Alec Muffett, a cybersecurity researcher said:

This is possibly the most important and long-awaited tweet that I’ve ever composed,” Muffett tweeted per TechCrunch. “On behalf of Twitter, I am delighted to announce their new Tor Project onion service.”

The Tor address for the version launched by Twitter is: twitter3e4tixl4xyajtrzo62zg5vztmjuricljdp2c5kshju4avyoid.onion

Tor, also known as the “onion router,” is a tool that encrypts internet traffic and routes it through a series of thousands of servers around the world. It does this by offering users anonymity and freedom to access websites free from surveillance and censorship.

A couple of days ago, Twitter’s Safety team started sharing some useful tips for Ukrainians. The tips include how users in the East European country can protect their privacy and stay safe online. The tips included how users can delete their accounts, protect their accounts with 2FA, find out if their accounts are public or protected, and a couple of others.

Last week, Twitter said it will start labeling all tweets that contain content from Russia state media. Twitter’s announcement comes as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine enters its fourth day.

According to Twitter’s Head of Sight Integrity Yoel Roth, most of the Russian state media content being shared on the platform comes from individuals who share links to their sites, and not the state media accounts.

The social media giant will also reduce the visibility and amplification of any tweets that include content from Russian state media links. What this means is that such content will not appear in Twitter’s “Top Search” result, and they will not be recommended by the microblogging platform.

Going forward, Twitter will start adding the label to content posted from Russian-owned media sites. Yoel, however, said Twitter intends to add labels to links shared from state-supported media organizations from other countries in the coming weeks.

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Author: Ola Ric

Ola Ric is a professional tech writer. He has written and provided tons of published articles for professionals and private individuals. He is also a social commentator and analyst, with relevant experience in the use of social media services.

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