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Russia says it is blocking Facebook in new censorship push

Russia says it is blocking Facebook in new censorship push

Russia's communications agency Roskomnadzor announced on Friday that it was blocking access to Facebook in Russia. It cited 26 cases of "discrimination against information resources by Russian media and Facebook" since October 2020, in addition to the recent sanctions imposed by Facebook on Russian state media outlets.

The bloc comes after growing domestic protests over the country's ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Russians have taken to the streets in large numbers to protest the ongoing attack, which has led to thousands of arrests. The regime has denied any plans to institute martial law, but has issued ongoing threats to outlets publishing critical information on the ongoing war effort, including Wikipedia.

Earlier on Friday, the Russian legislature developed a new law against spreading "fake news" about armed forces countries that could face up to 15 years in prison. Shortly after the bill went ahead, the BBC announced it would suspend journalism operations within the country.

Several tech platforms have started restricting services in Russia. For example, Google-owned YouTube blocked Russian news channels RT and Sputnik in Europe, while Facebook blocked RT and Sputnik in the EU and stopped recommending Russian state media globally. Apple has also stopped sales of the product in the country.

According to recent estimates by the United Nations Refugee Agency, more than 1 million Ukrainians have fled the country as a result of the invasion.

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