Foreign Affairs

Russia bans Facebook and Twitter; Putin signs law criminalizing ‘Fake News’

Putin Russia

Vladimir Putin also signed a bill that would allow penalties or jail time for calling for sanctions against Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, on Friday, signed a bill criminalizing ‘Fake News’ that is circulating amidst Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The bill that was adopted by the Russian lawmakers sets out jail terms and fines against people who publish ‘False information and Fake News’. As per the bill, a person can face up to a maximum of 15 years in prison. President Putin, who now has sanctions imposed on him, also signed a bill that would allow the administration to take strict action against anyone calling to impose sanctions against Moscow. The action also includes fines or jail terms of up to three years.

The moves come after there have been alleged reports of Fake News circulating in the western media amid the Russia Ukraine conflict. Kremlin also banned two of the largest social media company- Facebook and Twitter. This move by Russia comes as retaliation after the likes of Facebook’s parent company Meta, Google, and Twitter subsequently blocked access to Russian state media like Russia Today and Sputnik within the European Union in response.

Apart from this, United States-based big tech players like Apple and Google also took action against Russian state-controlled media outlets since Russia announced the special military operations in neighboring Ukraine. Earlier, on Monday, Social Media giant Twitter also stated that it would put a label and restrict the reach of tweets by Russian state-controlled media. Further, Twitter, on Friday, temporarily suspended ads in war-torn Ukraine and Russia to ensure the spread of safety information.

The Russian authorities, defending the move, stated, “Since October 2020, 26 cases of discrimination against Russian media and information resources by Facebook have been recorded and hence we decided to block Facebook from the Russian Federation.

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By TIS Staffer
the authorBy TIS Staffer

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