Twitter Removes Russian Media from Searches

  • Russia Ria Novosti will no longer be available to be searched on Twitter.
  • There will be a mark for the Russian State owned media.
  • The editor and Chief of RT already has such a mark.

On Monday, Russia published information that Twitter removed Ria Novosti from the search results. Additionally, users who were not subscribed to the Ria Novosti page will now be unable to find it in Russia or other countries. Earlier, Twitter blocked the profiles of KE and Sputnik in the same manner.

Twitter is a microblogging and social networking service on which users post and interact with messages known as “tweets”. Registered users can post, like, and retweet tweets, but unregistered users can only read them.

Furthermore, US based social networks are increasing protections against possible propaganda. The US presidential election will take place in November. Russia has been accused of possible meddling in the US election in 2016. The famous case is that of the St. Petersburg Troll Farm.

Last month, Twitter announced that it will mark media accounts that are under state control. Youtube implemented a similar warning when a channel is state owned. Such marks allow viewers to understand that the content streamed could be a social engineering propaganda geared at misinformation.

The Editor in Chief of the Russian television network RT, Margarita Simonyan, has a mark with state account on it. It should be noted that she has US education.

Moreover, Russia wants to appeal the new restrictions. However, Russia sensors a lot of channels, including the new proposal to have channels removed without even court hearing. A member of the Russian State Duma Committee, Anton Gorelkin made a public statement on his telegram Chanel pertaining to the Twitter restrictions

“I, of course, do not have insiders on Twitter, so I will not even guess why they imposed censorship against RIA Novosti. I just want to say that they did it using a terrorist method. What is called, without a declaration of war. What I have in mind, If we are talking about a violation of the internal rules of Twitter by the admins of the RIA feed, then in this case it is customary to warn about the introduction of sanctions and even more so to explain why they were introduced. And here they just threw out the account of a major news Agency from the search and are silent.”

Telegram is a cloud-based instant messaging, videotelephony and voice over IP service. Telegram client apps are available for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Windows, macOS and GNU/Linux and originated in Russia.

According to Gorelkin, it is another reason to introduce mandatory requirements for working with users in Russia for all social networks, following the example of the European Union. “If they want to work in our market, let them be polite and correct with our citizens, companies and the media,” Gorelkin believes.

It is hard to understand why Russian news needs to be on Twitter, besides using it as propaganda targeted at foreigners. The majority of Russians use Vkontakte and other Russian-based services.

Twitter is a US-based social media platform, and there is no need for Russia to have influence on the Western platforms. Also, if Russian citizens are looking for Ria Novosti’s feed, they can find it on their website, including their Telegram channel.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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