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Russia Accuses Facebook Of Censorship

(Photo: YURI KADOBNOV/AFP/Getty Images)

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Eric Lieberman Deputy Editor

Russia is reportedly not happy with Facebook’s recent decision to remove 273 accounts and pages connected to a group charged with contributing to interference in the 2016 election.

After being asked Thursday if Facebook’s actions against the Russia-based Internet Research Agency amounted to censorship and was an overall hostile move, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded: “Yes it is.”

“We are of course following this and we regret it,” Peskov continued, according to Reuters.

Facebook’s actions follow weeks of harsh criticism from the public over an alleged lack of care over user’s privacy — something that is certainly likely when accounting for insensitive comments that surfaced at the end of March.

Zuckerberg admitted several times in a call with reporters Wednesday that he and his company could and should have done better in this area, and will now assume a “broader responsibility.” (RELATED: Zuckerberg: Fixing Facebook Will Be A ‘Multi-Year Effort’)

But Zuckerberg has drawn the ire of Russia by trying to appease those who are clamoring for Facebook to ensure that there are further protections around people’s data.

This isn’t the first time Russia has sparred with, or at least criticized, a U.S.-based tech company.

Twitter relinquished its business relationship with news agencies Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik in late October, citing an “internal investigation” along with a Director of National Intelligence report that said both tried “to interfere with the election on behalf of the Russian government.” (RELATED: Report: Google Shut Down YouTube Channel Potentially Involved In Russia’s Election Meddling)

It was later reported that Twitter actually pushed for RT to spend more money during the 2016 political campaigns, showing that their own campaign for profit — much like Facebook — likely contributed to their own ultimate, purported problems.

Such findings, apparently corroborated by emails between the news organization and Twitter, were sent to BuzzFeed by RT itself.

Maria Zakharova, the director of the information and press department of the ministry of foreign affairs in Russia, implied that the U.S. government was involved in Twitter’s choice.

“We view this as another aggressive step aimed at blocking the activities of the Russian TV channel ‘Russia Today’ and it was the result of the pressure of part of the American intelligence,” reads Zakharova’s Facebook post, which was loosely translated by the platform, and also, somewhat ironically, posted on Twitter.

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