Russia says Twitter complying with demand to remove 'banned content'

Russia says Twitter complying with demand to remove ‘banned content’


Russia’s state communications watchdog, Roskomnadzor, said on Friday that the US social network Twitter complied with its request to remove banned content in Russia, but it still took too long to do so.

It said Twitter had removed 60% of such content since Moscow slowed the speed of its service in March to press its demand, but that more than 1,000 illegal materials remained accessible, down from more than 3,000 earlier this year.

Russia this month extended the punitive slowdown until May 15, while acknowledging that the U.S. social media company had accelerated the deletion of content.

Roskomnadzor said that since the start of the slowdown on March 10, it has found more than 900 new cases of prohibited content.
It said that, on average, Twitter deletes newly detected illegal content within 81 hours of receiving a request. This is still much longer than the 24 hours required by law.

Roskomnadzor says it wants Twitter to delete content that contains child pornography, drug abuse information or calls for minors to commit suicide.

Twitter has repeatedly denied allowing its platform to be used to promote illegal behaviour, says its has a zero-tolerance policy for child sexual exploitation, and prohibits the promotion of suicide or self-harm.

“We had a constructive conversation with Roskomnadzor on Thursday April 1 and again on Wednesday April 28,” a Twitter spokesperson said on Friday. “These were productive discussions about how we can both work to ensure that reports of such illegal content are dealt with expeditiously.”

At the April 28 meeting, Roskomnadzor stated that it and Twitter agreed to establish a direct communication channel between Watchdog and Twitter’s audit service.

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