Tags: Media Bias | Russia | Trump Administration | kremlin | twitter | youtube | censorship

WH Responds to Kremlin Threat Against Twitter, YouTube


Tuesday, 19 December 2017 06:20 PM Current | Bio | Archive

A week after the Kremlin threatened to block Twitter and Youtube access to Russia on the grounds both are promoting "undesirable organizations," the White House on Tuesday delivered a response.

"Certainly, generally speaking, we would not support a government shutting down American businesses," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told Newsmax on Tuesday.

The president's top spokesman added "I don't know why this would be different," but said she would "have to look into the details on that specific action and request that they've made."

The "request" came Dec. 13, when Roskomnadzor, the Russian federal agency that oversees communications, information technology, and mass media, issued a public demand Twitter ban the account of Open Russia — the pro-democracy movement headed by anti-Putin dissident and former prisoner Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

Roskomnadzor's demand to Twitter was followed by a similar demand to YouTube that it ban Open Russia's account as well. It came days after the agency blocked Open Russia's access to Internet resources within Russia on the grounds it violated the law on "undesirable organizations."

"Even by the arbitrary standards of the Kremlin's legal system, Open Russia is not in violation of any law," Khodorskovsky wrote the board members of Twitter.

"The law on 'undesirable organizations' applies only to foreign organizations that allegedly 'disrupt order' in Russia. However, Open Russia is a Russian organization and by definition is not subject to this law. Thus, this decision is illegal, and its only goal is to silence the dissent in the country."

He went on to explain, "Open Russia is a civic movement whose mission is to promote democratic principles, European values, human rights, and the rule of law in Russia."

Open Russia regularly speaks out, Khodorkovsky wrote, "against the [Putin] regime's crimes, corruption, and power abuses, which is why our work has been constantly vilified by the Russian authorities."

Whether the Trump administration will respond further – once it obtains more details on the Twitter blockage – remains to be seen.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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Newsmax's John Gizzi questions White House press secretary Sarah Sanders on Russia's attempting to block "undesirable organizations" related to U.S. social media companies Twitter and YouTube.
kremlin, twitter, youtube, censorship, democracy
Tuesday, 19 December 2017 06:20 PM
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