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Russia Says It Is Slowing Access to Twitter


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A young person in Russia checks their phone.

Russias telecommunications regulator said it was reducing the speed at which Twitter loaded for Internet users in Russia.

Credit: Kirill Kudryavtsev/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

The Russian government said on Wednesday that it was slowing access to Twitter, accusing the social network of failing to remove illegal content and signaling that the Kremlin is escalating its offensive against American internet companies that have long provided a haven for freedom of expression.

It was a landmark step in a country where the internet has essentially remained free despite President Vladimir V. Putin's authoritarian rule. But it did not go off without a hitch: As media regulators tried to slow access to Twitter, dozens of Russian government websites went offline for about an hour, a crash that some experts said most likely stemmed from a technical glitch in the state's move against the social network.

Russia's telecommunications regulator said it was reducing the speed at which Twitter loaded for users in Russia, and pictures and videos indeed at times took longer than usual to load. The regulator, Roskomnadzor, accused the American company of failing for years to remove posts about illegal drug use or child pornography or messages "pushing minors toward suicide."

"With the aim of protecting Russian citizens and forcing the internet service to follow the law on the territory of the Russian Federation, centralized reactive measures have been taken against Twitter starting March 10, 2021 — specifically, the initial throttling of the service's speeds, in accordance with the regulations," the regulator said in a statement.

 

From "Managing Multicore Memory"

MIT News (09/13/13) Larry Hardesty


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