Russia asks Facebook to explain curbs on some media accounts: RIA

Silhouettes of laptop users are seen next to a screen projection of Facebook logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia’s communications watchdog said on Friday it had asked Facebook to explain why access had been restricted to the Facebook accounts of some Russian media organizations, RIA news agency said.

Roskomnadzor said it considered the restrictions to be a continuation of Facebook’s “unfriendly policy toward Russian users,” RIA said.

The report did not specify which accounts had been affected, but Roskomnadzor said the move by Facebook would make it harder for Russian and foreign social network users to follow the Russian news agenda.

Facebook said on Tuesday it had deleted hundreds of Russian accounts and pages associated with a “troll factory” indicted by U.S. prosecutors for fake activist and political posts in the 2016 U.S. election campaign.

Facebook said many of the deleted articles and pages came from Russia-based Federal News Agency, known as FAN, which they linked to the St Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told Reuters on Tuesday that the agency had “repeatedly acted to deceive people and manipulate people around the world, and we don’t want them on Facebook anywhere.”

Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Christian Lowe