Roskomnadzor, Russia's communications regulator, said Friday it will "partially restrict access" to Facebook, accusing the platform of "censorship."
In a statement following the announcement, Meta's vice president of Global Affairs Nick Clegg said that Russia had tried to order the company to stop fact-checking and labelling posts yesterday and that the restrictions are an act of retaliation.
According to the Russian regulator's statement, the restrictions are a response to limitations placed on four specific Russian media accounts: Zvezda TV channel, RIA Novosti, Lenta.ru and Gazeta.ru. Roskomnadzor said the measures are to "protect Russian media."
Social media has become a key battleground in Russia's war against Ukraine, and U.S. platforms, including Facebook, have said they're on high alert for efforts to manipulate their platforms and spread propaganda. But Clegg also urged Russian users to continue using the companies' platforms to "make their voices heard, share what’s happening, and organize through Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger."
It's unclear what Russia's restrictions on Facebook will entail, or whether they will affect other Meta-owned properties, such as Instagram and WhatsApp. Several of the Russian state outlets that Russia accuses Facebook of restricting were continuing to post on Facebook after Roskomnadzor issued its statement.
This story has been updated to include Nick Clegg's statement.