Russia Threatens To Shut Down Twitter, Sues Other Social Media Companies For Illegal Content

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Kaylee Greenlee Immigration and Extremism Reporter
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Russian authorities are slowing media uploads to Twitter after the platform failed to remove illegal content, a state communications watchdog said Wednesday.

Twitter failed to remove over 3,000 posts containing illegal content including narcotics, suicide among minors and child pornography, Russian state-affiliated communications watchdog Roskomnadzor said, the Associated Press reported. Twitter will likely be banned if it does not adhere to Russian law, according to Roskomnadzor.

The state watchdog said it identified more than 2,500 posts reportedly encouraging suicide among minors, the AP reported.

Twitter has “openly ignored the Russian authorities’ demand to remove the banned content,” Roskomnadzor Deputy Chief Vadim Subbotin said, the AP reported. (RELATED: Putin Says Social Media Giants Are Too Powerful, Compete With Global Leaders)

The delay in multimedia uploads will affect around 13 million users including all mobile devices and half of desktop users across Russia, Roskomnadzor said, the AP reported. Twitter’s rules already prohibit content containing child exploitation and encouragement of suicide.

Officials have criticized social media platforms for allowing users to advertise protests in support of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, the AP reported. Some of the advertisements reportedly encouraged minors to participate in anti-government demonstrations, which is illegal in Russia.

Russian officials are suing Twitter, Google, Facebook, TikTok and Telegram for allegedly failing to remove content encouraging minors to participate in protests, the New York Post reported. Twitter, Google and Facebook all face three separate cases, each punishable by fines up to $54,000.

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