Russian officials are no longer threatening to cut off the country’s access to Twitter after the social network ramped up its efforts to purge content banned by that nation.
Roskomnadzor, Russia’s communications watchdog, backed down on the threat Monday but said it would continue throttling the speed of Twitter’s website over an alleged proliferation of illegal posts.
The agency started slowing down Twitter’s web traffic on March 10 and said it could block the social network entirely if the company did not remove the prohibited materials, including “child pornography, pro-narcotic and suicidal content.”
Roskomnadzor said it decided to give Twitter more time to address the issue after the Silicon Valley giant started removing the offending posts more quickly. But the speed restrictions will stay in place until May 15, according to the agency.
Twitter is now taking down banned content 81 hours after it appears on average, far longer than the 24-hour response time Russian law requires, officials said.
“Compliance with Russian legislation in full will make it possible to remove measures to slow down traffic and exclude blocking of the service in Russia,” Roskomnadzor said in a since-translated statement.
The announcement followed an April 1 video conference between Roskomnadzor and Twitter officials about the company’s response to Russia’s concerns and the conditions under which the speed throttling would end, according to Russian officials.
Twitter confirmed the conversation with Russia. The American tech titan led by Jack Dorsey has previously denied that it allows users to promote illegal behavior and raised concerns about how Russia’s crackdown could affect free speech.
“It was a productive discussion about how we can both work to ensure that reports of such illegal content are dealt with expeditiously,” Twitter said in a statement.
Russian authorities also sued Twitter, along with Google, Facebook, TikTok and the Telegram messaging platform, last month for allegedly failing to remove content encouraging kids to take part in illegal protests. That move followed mass demonstrations in Russia over the jailing of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.
With Post wires