13:58 GMT +324 April 2018
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    Russian Regulator Requests Explanation From Facebook About Blocked Content

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia’s media watchdog Roskomnadzor said Friday that it had sent a letter to Facebook requesting to clarify the restriction of access to accounts of a number of Russian media outlets.

    "Roskomnadzor has sent an official request to Facebook demanding to clarify the company's position in connection with the restriction of access to accounts of a number of Russian media outlets in the social network of the same name, as well as in the Facebook-owned Instagram service," the watchdog’s statement read.

    On Tuesday, Russia’s Federal News Agency (FAN) said that Facebook had blocked its official page without any warning. Also on Tuesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the company blocked more than 270 accounts and pages run by Russia's Internet Research Agency.

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow regrets the blocking of Facebook accounts of a number of Russian media outlets and closely follows the situation, stressing that the move could be considered as a manifestation of hostility toward Russian media.

    Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday Moscow would like to receive clarifications from US State Department after accounts of Russian media outlets were blocked on the social media platform.

    Recently, Facebook has been at a center of a personal data breach scandal. In March, media reported that the Cambridge Analytica consultancy firm had gathered the personal data of 50 million Facebook users without their permission. The company collected data to develop a mechanism that would predict and influence the behavior of voters. The company later announced that it would close access to user data for third party advertisement over the scandal.

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