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Twitter Says Turkey, France, Russia Keenest On Content Removal; Russia Responds

  • RFE/RL

A man looks at the computer screen in Moscow with a Twitter page showing Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

A man looks at the computer screen in Moscow with a Twitter page showing Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

Twitter says Russia is among the top three countries asking to have content removed from the social-media website.

Within hours of that announcement, the Russian Federal Service for Communications, Information Technologies and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) had accused Twitter of violating Russian laws.

Twitter's "transparency report," issued on February 9, showed 124 requests by a Russian government agency in 2014, a fourfold increase over 2013.

The requests by Russia were the third-most worldwide, after Turkey's 663 and France's 143.

U.S. government agencies were fourth with 63 requests in 2014.

Twitter said that it had complied with 32 of Russia's 124 requests to remove content -- about 25 percent.

It complied with 45 percent of Turkey's 663 requests, many of which were ordered by a Turkish court.

Twitter did not agree to remove any of the content requested by U.S. government agencies in 2014.

The United States government led the world in information requests to Twitter, with 1,622 of the 2,871 requests made among all countries in 2014.

Twitter says it gave "some information" to 80 percent of those requests.

Roskomnadzor head Aleksandr Zharov was quoted by Interfax later on February 10 as saying, "Twitter systematically does not comply with the demands of Russian legislation."

Zharov also said that while Twitter acts on requests from the U.S. government, it ignores Russia's requests for personal information on the platform's users.

Zharov said "none of the 108 requests to disclose information on the traffic of popular accounts" sent by Roskomnadzor was granted.

Zharov claimed Roskomnadzor repeatedly demanded that Twitter block "extremist" content without any response from the social-network site.

With reporting by Reuters, AFP, Interfax, and TASS
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