Google, Facebook and Twitter battle Russia over censorship

US internet companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Google are currently at odds with the Russian government, which wants the social networks to censor all talks with regards to an opposition rally.

This isn’t the first time the Kremlin is asking major internet players to comply with its wishes, as the Russian government has issued numerous takedown requests over the years. This is, however, one of the few times that the companies involved are not complying with the regime.

Rallies in support of Alexei Navalny, a household name to those opposing Vladimir Putin’s reign, are set for next month with word spreading on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ and tens of thousands of people claiming they will attend.

These, obviously, have the authorities worried, and were the target for takedown requests sent to all major players on the Russian internet. After initially complying with the order, Facebook came under public scrutiny and quickly reversed its decision. After getting its lawyers involved, the social network has left all pages and posts uncensored.

Google and Twitter have also confirmed they have received censorship requests, but their content is still available for now.

This is just the Kremlin’s latest move in trying to control the internet and its citizens’ access to information. With a more authoritative and insular regime, the future of foreign internet companies inside Russia’s borders may be a bleak one.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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