Russia Leans On Twitter to Delete Content

MOSCOW—Russia’s communications watchdog accused Twitter Inc. of violating Russian law by failing to delete banned content for the past several years, putting more pressure on a platform used by Kremlin opposition activists and exposing it to potential fines.

The federal communications regulator, which has been increasingly cracking down on the Russian internet, said Monday that the U.S. social-media company failed to delete 2,862 posts since 2017 with content linked to suicide, pornography and drugs. The agency said it had sent Twitter some 28,000 requests to delete the information.

If the company fails to remove the content it could face fines of $100,000 or more, the communications regulator said. In the event of a second offense, the fine is increased to one-fifth of the company’s total annual revenue, according to the agency.

Twitter didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment Monday regarding its alleged failure to remove material banned in Russia from its platform.

Foreign social-media sites in Russia have been under increased scrutiny in recent years, with the pressure intensifying since a wave of protests broke out across the country this year following the detention of opposition politician Alexei Navalny.


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