Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a major bill into law “criminalizing fake news about the Russian Armed Forces and calls for anti-Russian sanctions,” according to state media outlet, RIA. Additionally, Russia’s department focused on telecommunications and censorship, Roskomnadzor, confirmed the country would be banning access to Facebook in response to Meta’s decision to block media outlets like RT News.
While news is still incoming, it appears that this sweeping decision extends to all major Western social media platforms including Twitter, as well as news sites such as BBC and app stores from Apple and Google. The escalation comes after days of ominous pushback from Putin’s government against negative coverage of the country’s invasion of Ukraine, including most recently the limiting of access to certain Wikipedia pages. We’ve reached out to Meta PR for comment, and will update accordingly.
Unclear how extensive or long it will last — In an official statement released via Twitter, Meta’s president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, wrote “”Soon millions of ordinary Russians will find themselves cut off from reliable information, deprived of their everyday ways of connecting with family and friends and silenced from speaking out,” adding that the company “will continue to do everything we can to restore our services so they remain available to people to safely and securely express themselves and organize for action.”