On January 21, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the OSCE, Alexander Lukashevich, warned the states of this international organization about the threat to freedom of expression due to the blocking of content by private US corporations.
The Permanent Representative of Russia called on the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Teresa Ribeira “to closely monitor unlawful attempts to arbitrarily censor the digital information space and to assist the United States in enforcing freedom of speech.”
During a speech at an online meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, Lukashevich called the “witch-hunt” that has begun in the United States, the purge of the digital space by social networks. According to the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation, American social networks operate bypassing legal mechanisms, without the decision of the judiciary or the opinions of the profile structure on ethics.
“Such impudent, without regard to the state, corporate censorship at this level is an extraordinary phenomenon. This is a new and very serious threat to freedom of expression and the media, ”Lukashevich said.
He stressed that it should not be allowed that “a few private corporations, which in fact were allowed to abuse their almost monopoly position in the information space, could manipulate news and facts at their discretion, and on a global scale.”
According to him, many experts, speaking about the violation of “digital sovereignty” by such private structures, accuse them of seeking to establish a “digital dictatorship.”
“If today we do not make joint efforts, then tomorrow the world community may lose free access to information and, as a result, the ability to objectively navigate what is happening,” Lukashevich explained.
He said that the world community will not humbly look at attempts to rudely establish global censorship at the expense of a monopoly position in key segments of the global network. In this regard, other states began to create alternative resources to the American.
“The United States with its corporations will bear responsibility for the inevitable deglobalization of the network space, the breaking of the once unified information canvas into national shreds,” Lukashevich stated.
On January 14, the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, said that the United States is now demonstrating the same policy on social networks as in the conduct of international affairs: it excludes unwanted countries or figures from the economy and science. According to the diplomat, the United States possesses not only nuclear weapons, but the world’s largest military budget. In recent decades, Zakharova stressed, American foreign policy has used only one way of doing things: “these are illegal sanctions and restrictions.”
Earlier that day, Zakharova noted that the blocking by the largest American social networks of the accounts of US President Donald Trump really shook the whole world. According to her, the blocking of the pages of the head of the White House took place without a decision of the courts and the opinions of relevant structures on ethics, and added that the decision of the American Internet platforms is comparable to a nuclear explosion in the cyber environment, not the destruction itself, but their consequences are terrible.
It became known that Trump’s Twitter account was permanently blocked on the evening of January 8. The administration of the private social network said that the reason for this decision was the risk of further incitement to violence. In addition to this, the leadership of Twitter has promised to deactivate any page on the social network that the Republican will use.
Also, his pages were blocked by social networks Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitch.
On January 13, it became known that the video hosting YouTube suspended for seven days the ability to download new videos from Trump’s official account.