Russia May Ban Twitter

( On Tuesday, Russian authorities threatened to block access to social media platform Twitter if measures were not taken to remove child pornography or content that promotes child suicide and drugs.

The fact that Twitter isn’t already implementing strict measures to counter things like this is shocking enough, but at least they can’t blame former President Donald Trump for this now that he’s out of the White House.

Roskomnadzor, the Russian state communications watchdog, said that they would begin slowing down the uploading of videos and photos to Twitter if the social media giant doesn’t do more to stop the spread of dangerous and illegal content.

According to the agency, more than 3,000 posts that contain banned content, including over 2,500 posts that encourage young people to commit suicide, have not been removed by Twitter.

It comes after a child sex trafficking survivor sued the platform for refusing to remove sexually explicit videos of himself being abused from the platform, despite him and his mother repeatedly informing the platform that the content was live and was illegal.

“Plaintiff John Doe was solicited and recruited for sex trafficking as a minor,” a suit brought by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation reads. “After John Doe escaped from the manipulation, child sexual abuse material depicting John Doe was disseminated on Twitter. When Twitter was first alerted to this fact and John Doe’s age, Twitter refused to remove the illegal material and instead continued to promote and profit from the sexual abuse of this child.”

In a statement, Roskomnadzor’s Deputy Chief, Vadim Subbotin, said that Twitter continues to refuse to comply with the demands of Russian authorities.

“Twitter doesn’t react to our requests appropriately, and if things go on like this, then in a month it will be blocked, on an out-of-court basis,” he said to the nation’s media.

While Russia’s intentions here are good, there is a little more to the story.

Removing content that the Russian government disapproves of may help with the ongoing protests in the nation. Authorities in Russia have accused social media platforms over the last year of helping activists organize street protests across the country in opposition to the jailing of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

So the move is curiously timed.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also recently urged his nation’s police forces to do more to stop young people drawn into “illegal and unsanctioned street actions.”

Perhaps it’s time for the American government to step in and focus entirely on the claims of Twitter refusing to take down child pornography.

That kind of sounds…important.