MOSCOW (AFP): Russia on Friday blocked social media staple Facebook in the country, the media regulator said, over a week after Moscow invaded its neighbour Ukraine.
“On March 4, 2022 it was decided to block access to Facebook (belonging to the company Meta) on the territory of the Russian Federation,” Roskomnadzor said citing “26 instances of discrimination toward Russian media” by Facebook.
An AFP journalist in Moscow confirmed Facebook was not working but Facebook-owned Instagram was still accessible.
The move was part of an unprecedented government crackdown on independent media and activists since the start of the Russian invasion.
The country’s key remaining liberal media outlets have been shut down in recent days and a new law introducing harsh jail terms for publishing “fake news” about the war in Ukraine has forced others to abstain from covering that topic.
Roskomnadzor accused Facebook of 26 cases of “discrimination” against Kremlin-aligned news outlets since October 2020 by restricting their accounts on the platform, saying that violated Russians’ rights and freedoms.