Russia restricts Twitter and Facebook during Ukraine attack - state-controlled YouTube blocked

Twitter Inc. said its service was being limited in Russia and that it is trying to keep the social media site accessible to users.



Why it matters: It’s part of a greater effort by Russia to silence dissent amid protests against Russia’s Ukraine offensive.


Now Facebook and Twitter find themselves in a predicament that’s become increasingly common for social media networks in certain countries: They’re facing the demands of an authoritarian government that’s pressuring them to censor content it doesn’t like, and to allow propaganda to run unchecked. If they don’t follow the Kremlin’s orders, they risk being booted off of the local internet entirely.


The blockage affected some people, Twitter said, without providing further details. “We believe people should have free and open access to the Internet, which is particularly important during times of crisis,” Twitter’s public policy account tweeted Saturday morning.


There were about 9 million Twitter users in Russia in January 2021, according to Statista.


On Saturday morning, there was a significant disruption to Ukraine's internet backbone provider GigaTrans, which supplies connectivity to many other networks