Russian opposition on Twitter blocking: pros and cons

Russian opposition leader Navalny ‘detained at anti-Putin rally’ | Al Jazeera English

Russian oppositionists fiercely debate decision to block Trump on social media

Voice of America studied the arguments of supporters and opponents of the blocking, and also found out whether it is possible to return the Twitter account through the courts.

Blocking the accounts of President Donald Trump on social networks has become the subject of active discussion not only in the United States, but also in Russia. Disputes in the ranks of the Russian opposition on this score have not subsided for several days. The opinion of the Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, who condemned the blocking, is already quoted by the American right-wing publications. The Russian service of Voice of America asked the Russian opposition about the reasons why the decision of the American social networks caused such a violent reaction in Russia. And also I found out from experts whether Trump will be able to return access to social networks through court.

Kasparov invited Navalny to debate

Donald Trump’s Twitter account has been blocked since Friday. All leading US social networks, including Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, and others, announced the decision to ban the President of the United States from virtually being present on their platforms..

The decision was in response to Trump’s call for his supporters to go to the Capitol, where clashes subsequently took place between pro-Trump activists and the police. As a result, several people died, including supporters of the president and police..

“We have permanently terminated this account due to the risk of provoking violence,” – said on Twitter.

Commenting on the decision, President Trump himself said that this would not silence him and that he would think about creating a similar platform in the near future..

The decision sparked fierce controversy among the Russian opposition.

Opposition politician Alexey Navalny called the ban of the US President “an unacceptable act of censorship”.

As it seems to Navalny, this decision is emotional and built on “personal political preferences.” “Don’t tell me that Trump was banned for breaking the Twitter rules. I’ve received death threats here every day for years. And Twitter does not ban anyone (though I don’t require it), ”he wrote in his Telegram channel..

According to him, many well-known social networks have long been platforms where Vladimir Putin’s “troll factory” and its counterparts from other authoritarian countries work successfully..

United States-based oppositionist Garry Kasparov I do not agree with this assessment of what is happening, and invited Alexei Navalny to the debate. “I am well aware of the situation inside the United States and I am sure that the decision of the Twitter leadership in the current conditions was fully justified.. <…> Therefore, I invite Alexey to participate in debates at one of the authoritative Russian-language platforms that suit him – Echo of Moscow, the Dozhd TV channel, or Radio Liberty. “.

By the way, Navalny’s closest supporters – opposition politicians Vladimir Milov and Lyubov Sobol – expressed a different opinion.

“You cannot conduct a discussion about ‘freedom of speech in social networks’ ignoring the context to such an extent,” Milov commented on his Twitter. – Twitter put up with Trump for more than ten years with all his antics, and only when he staged an armed rebellion and people died, did it give him a warning. That warning did not follow. “.

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According to Sobol, Twitter has made it clear that “you cannot incite violence, even if you are the president.” “And, of course, Twitter is a private platform, it has the right to establish its own rules, which are consistent with the laws, and require users to comply with them,” says Navalny’s ally.

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Russian opposition on Twitter blocking: pros and cons

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“In the Russian opposition environment, supporters and opponents of blocking Donald Trump are divided approximately equally.”

Note that the statement of Navalny, who is the most famous Russian oppositionist in the West, was actively picked up by the American right-wing media – for example, Breitbart News devoted a separate article to Navalny’s reasoning.

“Navalny is historically close to the ultra-right environment, so I find nothing surprising in this situation. Therefore, they are quoting Navalny, not Khodorkovsky. But this is a purely situational story, there is no need to look for a conspiracy here, “says Russian opposition politician Ilya Ponomarev in an interview with the Russian service of the Voice of America..

Founder of “Open Russia” Mikhail Khodorkovsky earlier he also spoke negatively about Trump’s bath, urging not to forget about the situation with censorship in Russia.

“Why are we discussing blocking Trump and spitting on Putin’s repressive laws? Social media rules are our common future. Trump’s case is precedent. It is American in its place of consideration, but global in its consequences. The agony of a small-town autocrat is dangerous, but not interesting, “Khodorkovsky wrote on Twitter..

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