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Safe Internet League slams blocking of TASS post on Facebook as censorship

Earlier, Facebook blocked a TASS post about the detention of supporters of a Ukrainian radical youth group in Russia’s Voronezh as "fake" news

MOSCOW, March 7. /TASS/. The Safe Internet League slams Facebook’s blocking of a TASS post as an act of censorship, the League’s director and member of the Russian Public Chamber, Yekaterina Mizulina, told TASS on Sunday.

According to earlier reports, Facebook blocked a TASS post about the detention of supporters of a Ukrainian radical youth group in Russia’s Voronezh as "fake" news. The post was written on the basis of an official press statement from the Federal Security Service and the Investigative Committee. TASS insists that it put the information correctly.

"It is yet another example of censorship on Facebook. A law on the protection of the rights of internet users from such illegal actions of internet giants was passed last year. Roscomnadzor (the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media) should have a say in this situation and demand Facebook restore these publications, the more so as they are based on official data," Mizulina said, adding that it was an attempt to "silence the point of view of TASS and other Russian media that tell about what some Ukrainian citizens are doing in Russia."

According to Mizulina, the Safe Internet League registered calls from Ukrainian nationals for participation in illegal actions in January and February in Russia. "We already know that Ukrainian nationals took part in these actions and in propaganda. And it was not a single extremist group," she noted.

She recalled that the mass media watchdog has the authority to impose a fine on the internet platform for such illegal actions if it fails to restore the above mentioned publications.

The TASS news item of February 18 says that Russia’s Federal Security Service nipped the activities of supporters of a Ukrainian radical youth group involved in propaganda of the ideology of neo-Nazism and massacre.

Facebook said the post had been cancelled at a request from the Ukrainian fact-checking service StopFake.

In March 2016, Facebook began to test various engines to combat fake news. Its menu was supplemented with an option of reporting a potentially fake news. Such posts are referred for verification to third-party organizations.

On March 27, 2020, Facebook launched a content fact-checking program in Ukraine. Ukrainian organizations VoxCheck and StopFake were chosen as partners.

RBC reported similar problems with this news on Facebook.