Twitter access restricted in Russia in the wake of Ukraine invasion

NetBlocks, a company that monitors web outages, reported access to Twitter is being ‘restricted on leading networks’ in Russia.

26 February 2022

Twitter has said access to the platform is being restricted in Russia in the wake of the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

In a tweet, the company said it is “aware” that access to the platform has been restricted for some people in Russia, adding it is “working to keep our service safe and accessible”.

NetBlocks, a London-based company that monitors web outages and internet access throughout the world, reported access to Twitter and its backend servers is being “restricted on leading networks” in Russia.

It added: “Circumvention is currently possible using VPN services, which can help users work around the online censorship.”

On Friday, Russia limited access to Facebook after the social media provider refused to stop fact-checking and labelling content from state-owned organisations, former deputy prime minister Sir Nick Clegg said.

Russian authorities announced the “partial restriction” after the social media network limited the accounts of several Kremlin-backed outlets over the invasion of Ukraine.

Russian state communications watchdog Roskomnadzor said it had demanded that Facebook lifts the restrictions it placed on Thursday on state news agency RIA Novosti, state TV channel Zvezda, and pro-Kremlin news sites Lenta.Ru and Gazeta.Ru.

Sir Nick, vice president of global affairs at Facebook’s parent company Meta, said that “ordinary Russians are using our apps to express themselves and organise for action” and the company wants “them to continue to make their voices heard”.

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Sir Nick Clegg said Facebook had refused to stop fact-checking content from state-owned organisations in Russia (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

He tweeted: “Yesterday Russian authorities ordered us to stop the independent fact-checking and labelling of content on Facebook by four Russian state-owned media organisations.

“We refused. As a result, they have announced they will be restricting the use of our services.

“Ordinary Russians are using our apps to express themselves and organise for action.

“We want them to continue to make their voices heard, share what’s happening, and organise through Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.”

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