Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, a.k.a. Roskomnadzor (pronounced Роскомнадзор), on March 1 complained that “since 2017, social network Twitter has not removed 2,862 materials with prohibited information.” It said it had sent more than 28,000 requests to Twitter’s administrators to remove said materials.
One month earlier, on February 1, a new law took effect in Russia, compelling social networks to independently identify and block “prohibited content,” and to take immediate measures to restrict access to prohibited information. Should it be impossible to independently assess such content within 24 hours of posting, the social network’s administrators must send the data to the Russian media watchdog.
Twitter did not comply, so, on Wednesday, Roskomnadzor took measures to initially decelerate Twitter’s loading speed for 100% of mobile traffic and 50% of desktop traffic nationwide, TASS reported.
TASS also reported disruptions in the functioning of four major Internet services across Russia on Wednesday, citing the Downdetector website (“We detect when technology fails – We help you understand what’s going on with your outage by providing real-time insights into problems.”).
YouTube suffered the highest level of disruptions: Downdetector registered 308 reports regarding the giant video provider. 275 users reported disruptions on Google. There were also 87 reports on Yandex (a Russian Dutch-domiciled multinational corporation providing Internet-related products and services), and 74 on the MTS cellphone carrier.
Roskomnadzor specified that as of March 10, Twitter had not removed 3,168 pieces of content containing information on ways of committing suicide, incitement to commit suicide, child pornography, and information on methods of making and using drugs.