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Social Networks Remove Calls on Teenagers to Participate in Rallies, Russian Watchdog Says

CC0 / / Social media
Social media - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Both foreign and Russian social networks have started actively removing calls on teenagers to participate in unauthorised rallies, in compliance with the prosecutors' requirement, Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor said on Thursday.
"In connection with the emerging new calls for participating in the unauthorised events, social networks' administrations were notified of the need to remove the banned information", the watchdog said in a statement.

Foreign and Russian social networks have started actively removing the information by virtue of the new requirements by the office of the prosecutor general, the watchdog added. 

Roskomnadzor noted that timely removal of such posts allowed to significantly reduce minors' participation in rallies and prevent injuries.

"Roskomnadzor continues its interaction with the online platforms in a bid to prevent the involvement of minors into illegal mass actions, which bear risks amid the COVID-19 pandemic", the watchdog concluded.

The Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier said Moscow believes that social networks should not become a platform for promoting unauthorised rallies.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is escorted by police officers after a court hearing, in Khimki outside Moscow, Russia January 18, 2021. - Sputnik International
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On Saturday, Russian cities witnessed mass protests in support of blogger Alexey Navalny, who was detained in Moscow on 17 January upon his arrival from Germany, where he had undergone months of treatment after being allegedly poisoned with a nerve agent. Local doctors in Russia previously suggested a metabolic malfunction as the main diagnosis and stated that there were no traces of poison in his system. The blogger was subsequently placed in custody for 30 days for violating his probation terms for an earlier embezzlement conviction.

Ahead of the protests, foreign social networks, including TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, hosted content with calls for teenagers to participate in the unauthorised rallies. The US embassy in Moscow published the opposition protest maps on its website.

Russian communications watchdog Roskomnadzor is intended to fine Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, VKontakte, Odnoklassniki and YouTube for non-compliance with the requirements to suppress the dissemination of calls on teenagers for participation in unauthorised rallies. Fines range from 800,000 to 4 million rubles ($10,488-52,440).

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