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Twitter must ban European access to Russian state media – Higgins

Twitter must follow the actions of Facebook and Instagram and ban access to Russian state media on its platform, Fine Gael’s Spokesperson on Social Media has said.

Deputy Emer Higgins has called on Twitter, which has its European headquarters in Dublin, to act swiftly to completely restrict access to Russian state-controlled media.

Deputy Higgins said, “As the situation in Ukraine gets progressively worse, the importance and influence of our online presence is becoming increasingly apparent. Social media companies cannot play a role in perpetuating Russian propaganda.

“I appreciate the steps that Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and others have already taken to silence Russia Today and other Russian media. Twitter must now do the same.

“Twitter have committed to labelling and limiting tweets linking to Russian state-backed media such as Russia Today and Sputnik, but personally I feel that actions to limit the reach of these tweets are not working as I have never seen more content from Russian-backed media on my Twitter feed.

“I know this is something that fellow colleagues and friends have also noticed”, said Deputy Higgins.

“Social media has an important role to play in information sharing and Twitter is one of the most popular news sources for social media users, it therefore has a responsibility to ensure that it is not furthering the Russian agenda in any way.

“I appreciate that restricting access to certain accounts is a massive step for Twitter to take but I think the gravity of the current situation warrants such actions. I am calling on Twitter to take that step and ban access to Russian state media on their platform immediately,” concluded Deputy Higgins.

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