Russia restricts access to social networks, which are also taking action

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The wars of the 21st century are also fought online. Since the beginning of its offensive against Ukraine, Russia has restricted the activity of several social networks western social networks on its territory. In this way, Putin’s government intends to limit the circulation of information and make communication with the outside world more difficult.

The big tech companies are trying to contain disinformation and economically suffocating Russia’s propaganda machine

Twitter has officially acknowledged that its social network was functioning with difficulties on Russian territory, and that some of its users have lost access to it. Also Meta’s social networks, both Facebook and Instagram, have reported having suffered censorship and restrictions in recent days in Russia. For the Russian government, these social networks are contributing to the violation “of the rights and freedoms of Russian citizens”.

In turn, digital platforms have reacted by trying to stifle the Kremlin’s propaganda machine. Meta has constituted a specific department to prevent disinformation on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. The team is also developing defense mechanisms to repel cyber-attacks by Russian hackers.

In the same vein, Twitter is monitoring disinformation posted on its social network to prevent its spread. The company itself published last week a series of cybersecurity recommendations specifically aimed at its Ukrainian users. In the first hours of the conflict, Twitter deleted “by human error” several accounts that were reporting live on the events. Soon after, the platform apologized and reactivated those profiles.

YouTube has also taken action. The video streaming platform has, at first temporarily, cancelled the possibility for RT, a Russian state media outlet, to monetize its activity on YouTube. It has also “significantly” limited suggestions directing to RT and related channels.

The same strategic line has been followed by Google, which is preventing Kremlin-linked media from being able to earn revenue from their advertising.

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