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Russian Social Networks Start Courting Russian Users Sick of Censorship on Facebook

on Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:31 pm
In the latest episode of Facebook's drama with users in Russia and Ukraine, the network suspended accounts and deleted several posts belonging to a handful of prominent pro-Kremlin bloggers, as well as a high-ranking Russian state official. After a wave of complaints from Russian liberal oppositionists and Ukrainian users (including an appeal from Ukrainian Petro Poroshenko himself), it's now the other side's turn to protest Facebook's apparent political bias.

The tension hasn't been lost on other social networks in Russia. VKontakte, the country's most popular social network, and LiveJournal, still a popular blogging service in Russia, have encouraged Internet users to switch to their websites, where moderation polices against supposed hate speech are less strict.

The current bad blood between Russians and Facebook peaked when the network temporarily suspended the accounts of Maxim Ksenzov, the head of Roskomnadzor (the Kremlin's media watchdog), and pro-Putin writer Eduard Bagirov. These two men, along with several others who joined them in solidarity, were punished for posting the word “khokhol,” an ethnic slur directed at Ukrainian people. Later, Bagirov was banned again for referring to a Ukrainian opponent using a similar anti-Ukrainian ethnic slur, “ukrop,” which literally means “dill.”

According to reports in the Russian media, Facebook has said the posts were removed and accounts frozen because users failed to comply with the website's community standards by insulting people based on their ethnicity.

Translation Original Quote In this context, the word “khokhol” equates to the usage of such words as “nigger” and others, and it violates community standards. wrote:Translation Original Quote
In this context, the word “khokhol” equates to the usage of such words as “nigger” and others, and it violates community standards.
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