Twitter’s decision to remove all advertising from the accounts of RT television channel and news agency Sputnik shows that the US authorities directly control the process of decision-making in this company, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.
“We believe that this particular ban has demonstrated Twitter’s commercial unworthiness and absolute dependence on the likes and dislikes of the US establishment, which directly controls the process of decision-making in this company. That’s the way we see it,” Zakharova underlined.
“We are urging the users of all social networks to derive conclusions in this particular situation,” Zakharova said. “Today Twitter has outlawed the advertising of Russian mass media, including RT and Sputnik. Tomorrow it may follow volatile political preferences to declare as the United States’ enemies some mass media or businesses that cooperate with Twitter not only in our country, but also in any other country. At the same time, just as the RT channel, they may invest in advertising campaigns and some other joint projects only to get such image costs for their own money.”
Zakharova said that Russia interpreted that decision in the context of “continuing attempts by the US Administration to eliminate a source of alternative information some US political circles find unsuitable… the US authorities’ wish to see Russian mass media on the list of foreign agents,” she concluded.
Shareholders have proposed that Facebook Inc prepare a report on the threat to democracy and free speech from so-called ‘fake’ news spread on the social media forum, and the dangers it may pose to the company itself, according to US mass-media reports.
The proposal, which suggested Facebook had provided “a financial mechanism supporting fabricated content” on the internet, suggests the company review the issue broadly, including the extent to which it blocks ‘fake’ posts, how its strategies impact free speech and how it evaluates claims in posts.
“Facebook is highly vulnerable, as ‘fake’ news promoters are spamming their way to visibility for fake news through strategically gaming Facebook’s algorithms and publishing platform,” the proposal states.
“In light of the societal crisis generated by the explosion of ‘fake’ news and related hate speech, failure to effectively manage this issue creates public policy risk,” it said.
The move is a part of a broader movement of the establishment against social media seen a threat to teleguided democracy and increased demands of citizens to consult them prior to taking crucial political decisions. The term ‘fake’ news was coined to label any unfiltered by establishment piece of information, bypassing existing filters represented by mainstream media claiming to be the ultimate guardians of ‘free speech’.
Russian State Duma has introduced a law prohibiting children to use electronic school diaries and to engage in online learning. The law is formally called “On the legal regulation of social networks” – according to the idea of the authors it was supposed to prohibit the registration of persons under 14 years of age in social networks.
Nikolay Travkin, a politician, and former associate of Boris Yeltsin, criticized Member of Parliament – Duma – Vitaly Milonov (pictured) for his initiative:
“…Any web site on the Internet falls under “social networks,” – writes Russian politician, in the past close associate of Boris Yeltsin, – Nikolai Travkin.
“Under plausible pretexts, all our people are being driven to the Stone Age. Just ot keep the new generations dim and obedient, just to prevent them from knowing how much they steal and who. Just to prevent them to rise one day against corruption and the lies of adults”, – Travkin continues in his blog, asking a rhetoric question:
“We have to understand if the cave is really a place where we see the future of our country, our people?”