Russia Raises Heat on Twitter, Google and Facebook in Online Crackdown

Russia is increasingly pressuring Google, Twitter and Facebook to fall in line with Kremlin internet crackdown orders or risk restrictions inside the country, as more governments around the world challenge the companies’ principles on online freedom.

Russia’s internet regulator, Roskomnadzor, recently ramped up its demands for the Silicon Valley companies to remove online content that it deems illegal or restore pro-Kremlin material that had been blocked. The warnings have come at least weekly since services from Facebook, Twitter and Google were used as tools for anti-Kremlin protests in January. If the companies do not comply, the regulator has said, they face fines or access to their products may be throttled.

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Russia is still the biggest player in disinformation, Facebook says
A Facebook report released Wednesday says that Russia is still the largest producer of disinformation, a notable finding just five years after Russian operatives launched a far-reaching campaign to infiltrate social media during the 2016 presidential election campaign.

Facebook says it has uncovered disinformation campaigns in more than 50 countries since 2017, when it began the cat-and-mouse game of cracking down on political actors seeking to manipulate public debate on its platform. The report, which summarizes 150 disinformation operations the company says it has disrupted in that period, highlights how such coordinated efforts have become more sophisticated and costly to run in recent years — even as these operators struggle to influence large numbers of people as they once did.

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