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Russia’s media watchdog sends requests to Twitter to remove prohibited content — media

The watchdog has sent request to disclose user data of 108 bloggers

MOSCOW, March 25. /TASS/. Russia’s media watchdog Roskomnadzor has sent requests to US microblogging platform Twitter to disclose user data of 108 bloggers and delete extremist content, but the process is being dragged on, Russian daily Izvestiya reported on Wednesday.

However, Twitter fulfills US government’s requests in the shortest time possible. In 2015, the microblogging service has already disclosed user data of 2,500 bloggers on request of US authorities. Roskomnadzor head Alexander Zharov said Twitter’s branch in Russia tries to drag on fulfilling the watchdog’s requests for as long as possible.

Roskomnadzor said Twitter repeatedly ignored Russian laws on restricting users’ access to illegal information, such as calls for mass riots and extremist information. Fifty-five Twitter pages were included in the Unified Register of information forbidden in Russia, including 24 pages on drug-related topics, 20 pages with suicide-related themes, 6 pages with child pornography, etc. At the moment, prohibited information has been deleted.

The media watchdog noted that Twitter has double standards when it comes to pages calling for riots. Meanwhile, the platform was quick to react and delete materials linked to mass protests in the American city of Ferguson, where a police officer shot a black teenager, Roskomnadzor said.

On February 10, Roskomnadzor head Zharov said that Twitter does not observe Russian laws, including on countering extremism. "According to its [Twitter’s] official statistics report, the social network fulfilled almost 3,000 requests made by the US on user information. From 108 requests on users’ data made by Roskomnadzor, none were fulfilled," Zharov noted.

"Twitter consequentially does not observe the Russian laws, including on countering extremism. Roskomnadzor has a logical question on whether this is an appropriate position for a company operating on the Russian territory," he added.

Twitter social network is a microblogging service for public exchange of short messages. The company was set up in 2006.