Facebook Blocks, Then Unblocks, Russian News Organization

censorship2-150x150Russian news organization RT was temporarily blocked from sharing links on Facebook this week, and as RT itself pointed out, the ban would have coincided with President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday. Of course, this news follows the months-long uproar over the role of Russian hackers in the presidential election.

Though Facebook did restore RT’s ability to share content on Facebook, the news group reacted with outrage, hinting that Facebook may be working with the U.S. government to censor the page’s content, particularly around Donald Trump. Russian government officials also threatened the access of American media members working in Russia.

“Many American press networks work in Russia, and have the same media rights and opportunities,” the head of Russia’s media censorship said. “If this unprecedented pressure on RT on the part of American media and social networks leads to limits on the work of Russian networks, we will proceed with enacting active answer measures.”

It’s not exactly clear why Facebook blocked RT from posting, though it’s been suggested that it could have been an algorithm reacting to a copyright issue. Of course, Facebook has had its hand caught in the cookie jar of cooperating with government authorities before, so the Russian news network’s accusations aren’t entirely off base.