Russian watchdog asks Twitter to delete opposition's content: Reports

WION Web Team
Moscow, RussiaUpdated: Mar 18, 2021, 08:22 PM IST

FILE Photograph:(Reuters)

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The website is funded by Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky but was blocked by Russia in 2018

A few days after Moscow warned social media platform, Twitter, to remove banned content or face a ban, Russia's media watchdog has asked Twitter to delete the account of an opposition news outlet.

MBK media is a news website that is seen as a critic of the present Russian government. The media house has been accused of posting content that shows Russia in a negative light and labels the country as 'undesirable, MBK said.

The website is funded by Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky but was blocked by Russia in 2018. MBK claims the Kremlin has asked Twitter to suspend its account citing a violation of Russian law.

Russia's communications regulator, Roskomnadzor, claims MBK's Twitter account contains anti-Russia material. 

"The editorial office has not received any warnings from Roskomnadzor," MBK media’s editor-in-chief Veronica Kutsyllo said. "MBK media ... is a media organisation that has no relationships with any organisations, desirable or undesirable from the point of view of Roskomnadzor."

Kutsyllo also assured that MBK media does not "publish anyone's material except our own".

He also added that the media house had not received any warning and the watchdog had not informed MBK about any problem regarding the website's material.

"[The state] has been pursuing this new tactic for some time, putting pressure on networks and providers without first warning their potential ‘victims’," Kutsyllo said.

This has come after Russia had slowed down the speed of Twitter citing the alleged uncooperative nature of the social media platform regarding several "banned content".

"Twitter is not reacting to our requests as they should. If the situation carries on then it will be blocked in a month without a court order," Vadim Subbotin, deputy head of the regulator, told the Interfax news agency.