Twitter complies with Russia’s Internet blacklist law

On November 1, Russia implemented a controversial Internet censorship law.

As of Friday, the country says, Twitter is on board.

According to an announcement by Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, Twitter is now “actively involved” with the Russian registry of blacklisted sites and users.

The registry is designed to immediately combat the Internet’s horrific content by giving website owners 24 hours to address allegedly illegal material on their sites. Particularly heinous content—sites selling drugs, peddling child porn, or encouraging others to commit suicide—don’t even get the warning. They can be put on the blacklist registry immediately. Russian Internet service providers abide by the registry, and won’t let their customers visit the listed sites.

Of course, the law has raised concerns of government misuse—especially since a satirical site found itself censored soon after the law was passed. The site quickly changed its IP address, circumventing the process.

YouTube has already been flagged under the new law, based on a video that instructs viewers how to fake slashed wrists. Google filed a lawsuit in response.

But Twitter has reportedly taken the opposite path. The Russian announcement said that the company has complied five times so far, either banning the IP address or deleting the accounts of five users: two accused of advertising drugs and three accused of “the promotion of suicidal tendencies.”

Twitter didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Kevin Collier

Kevin Collier

A former senior politics reporter for the Daily Dot, Kevin Collier focuses on privacy, cybersecurity, and issues of importance to the open internet. Since leaving the Daily Dot in March 2016, he has served as a reporter for Vocativ and a cybersecurity correspondent for BuzzFeed.