Russia has blocked Meta Platforms Inc’s Facebook, the country’s communications regulator stated on Friday, citing limits on Russian media access on the network.
According to the regulator Roskomnadzor, Facebook has discriminated against Russian media in 26 incidents since October 2020, including recent limitations on state-backed stations like RT and the RIA news agency.
The action is a significant step forward in a long-running feud between global digital companies and Russia, which has levied a raft of penalties and slowed services in recent years. Tensions have risen as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, dubbed a special operation by Moscow.
Russia has also banned access to Twitter on Friday and the service had been disabled. A request for comment from Twitter Inc was not immediately returned.
In response to escalating censorship requests, tech firms such as Alphabet Inc’s Google have suspended advertising in Russia.
Last week, Moscow said that it was restricting access to Facebook in part, citing the company’s refusal to comply with a government order to suspend independent fact-checking of multiple Russian official media sources. On Saturday, Twitter said that certain Russian users will be unable to access the site.