Russia Extends Twitter Slowdown Until May

Russia has extended its self-imposed slowdown of content from Twitter until May 15 in response to so-called “banned content” including alleged child exploitation and drug use.

Officials from the Kremlin have imposed a slowdown of content coming from Twitter which started in March of this year. Users may have to wait longer for videos and images to load, and Russia has said they man ban the platform if Twitter cannot remove banned content in a “timely manner”.

According to communications regulator Roskomnadzor, Twitter held talks with Russian officials, where they agreed to give more time to identifying and removing content that Russia deems illegal. Twitter confirmed the talks with Russia, saying that it was a “productive discussion” and that “both (will) work to ensure that reports of such illegal content are dealt with expeditiously”.

Statistics provided by Roskomnadzor indicate that Twitter takes an average of 81 hours to identify and remove illicit content from their platform. This is far longer than the 24 hour deadline demanded by Russian law. 

Russian authorities have particularly criticized Twitter over showing content that involved children at Kremlin protests while Roskomnadzor alleges that Twitter has allowed child pornography, drug use and child exploitation to be allowed on their platform.

Twitter has categorically denied the presence of pornography and says that it maintains a zero-tolerance policy on any child exploitation that appears on their platform.

Russia has threatened to ban Twitter entirely should they be unable to meet demands, though Kremlin officials did say after their meeting with Twitter that things had been improving.

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