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Medvedev Rushes To Quash Twitter Threat After Russian Officials Hint At Ban

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has responded curtly to a suggestion by officials that U.S. microblogging service Twitter could be blocked inside Russia.

Medvedev took to social networks to downplay any such threat, saying via Facebook and Twitter that "officials" should "sometimes switch on their brains" and "not give interviews announcing the closure of social networks."

"As an active user of social networks," Medvedev added, "I believe that everyone -- networks and users -- must comply with Russian law."

Ruslan Gattarov, an adviser to the Federation Council’s chairwoman, said on May 16 that it is unacceptable for Twitter to ignore the "demands of [Russia's state agency monitoring the Internet] Roskomnadzor" to limit the distribution of "banned information" and to protect the personal data of users.

Roskomnadzor Deputy Chairman Maksim Ksenzov told the daily "Izvestia" in an interview published on May 16 that Twitter may be shut down in Russia for ignoring "our demands about false information and fake accounts."

Roskomnadzor press secretary Vadim Ampelonsky told Ekho Moskvy radio on May 16 that Twitter's "unconstructive position" on the demand by the Russian prosecutor-general to delete extremist content makes the blocking of Twitter "inevitable."

Based on reporting by Interfax, RIA Novosti, ITAR-TASS, and Ekho Moskvy
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