MOSCOW, Russia – The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday that it considers the blocking of RT-related pages by Facebook unacceptable.
According to Russian diplomacy, Moscow is waiting for a response from the Organization for Security and Cooperation (OSCE) of Europe on the case.
Earlier it had been reported that Facebook had blocked several accounts associated with the RT channel without explaining the reasons.
“Once again, we are dealing with an act of direct and legally unwarranted pressure on the sources of information Washington does not like. Obviously, this trend towards censorship on the Internet is only increasing, despite repeated appeals from the West to respect freedom in the digital and informational environment,” the ministry said.
According to the ministry, “the situation in which the administration of Facebook, in an authoritarian and non-transparent manner, blocks accounts in violation of generally accepted principles of freedom of expression and equal access to information, is unacceptable.”
“We are calling for a reaction from the relevant international structures, particularly the OSCE representation for press freedom.”
Facebook’s blocking of several RT channel projects following a CNN report is an obvious geopolitical clash, according to Sputnik and RT’s chief editor Margarita Simonyan.
Earlier, Facebook blocked the pages of four Maffick Media projects – In the Now, Soapbox, Waste-Ed and Backthen, belonging to a group of independent journalists, partially related to the Ruptly agency.
The projects publish video materials on history, news, social problems and the environment. Facebook did not notify the projects about its blocking and did not explain the reason for its actions.
The pages were blocked eight hours after CNN published a story that “denounced” the links of the pages in question with the RT. In the matter, the channel pointed out that “those who watch these videos do not realize that they were created with Russian money”.
The channel began to prepare the material after receiving information from the German Marshall Fund, which is recognized in Russia as an “undesirable organization”.
“Once again CNN has acted as the right hand… of the State Department, NATO and all that is related to it. Facebook acted in the same way. CNN does not even disguise having organized its so-called investigation, or rather, its completely blackmailing matter, by direct commissioning of the fund funded by NATO and the State Department,” Simonyan said.
According to her, CNN actually forced Facebook to delete the pages.
“Facebook is already so frightened of being accused of helping once again the Russians to interfere and kill democracy in the US that […] in minutes deleted an account that had four million followers,” she said.
The chief editor of Sputnik and RT stressed that in the future the situation will only get worse.
“Now no one ever tries to believe in freedom or even speak of any freedom, it is a clear geopolitical confrontation, where our media platforms are used as a true absolute weapon. I do not know if they were created for that purpose, but in fact this is happening precisely in this way,” he said.