Russian lawmakers pass laws bordering on websites and local media

Facebook, Google and Twitter logos are seen in this combination photo.

Russia’s lower house of parliament voted on Wednesday to pass legislation allowing authorities to block or restrict websites like YouTube if they “discriminate” against Russian media on their sites.

The authors of the legislation cited complaints from Russian media outlets RT and the RIA news agency about what they described as the “censorship” of their accounts on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

The lawmakers also voted to pass a bill that would fine online platforms and internet providers up to 20% of their turnover in Russia if they fail to remove banned content.

The authors of the draft legislation singled out the cases of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as justification for the fines and said they had failed to remove hundreds of URL pages containing content banned in Russia.

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