The Russian government ordered on Wednesday a general slowdown of Twitter’s connection speed, after what it called “systematic disregard of the requirement to remove content forbidden in Russia.”
- The restrictions will affect “100% of mobile devices and 50% of stationary devices,” telecom regulator Roskomnadzor said in a statement.
- An official quoted by the Interfax news agency said the slowdown will concern video and pictures, not text. It will remain in place until Twitter TWTR,
+6.36%has removed the incriminated content.
- If Twitter “continues to disregard requirements of the law,” the Russian regulator said further sanctions could be taken, up to blocking the service altogether.
- Roskomnadzor alleges that, since 2017, Twitter has failed to remove content “that encourages minors to commit suicide, as well as child pornography and information about the use of narcotic drugs.”
- Russian authorities had previously accused Twitter of harboring posts that illegally urged children to take part in anti-Kremlin protests.
- Twitter didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment, Reuters indicated on Wednesday morning.
The outlook: The Russian regulator is only mentioning in its statement content that is also clearly banned in many other countries. But the warning may also worry the thousands of Russian users that have turned to the social network as one of the few conduits for free speech still available in the country.