23:17 GMT +322 April 2019
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    Int'l Journo Group Slams Blocking RT-Linked Facebook Accounts as Censorship

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    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - President of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Philippe Leruth condemned in an interview with Sputnik on Monday the blocking of several Facebook accounts linked to RT television, and described the move as an act of censorship.

    "Closing a Facebook account or any Internet link of a media, without prior warning, can be considered as an act of censorship opposed by the IFJ," Leruth said.

    READ MORE: Moscow-Unfriendly States Lobby Tech Giants to Pressure Russian Media — Kremlin

    He also stressed that "whenever one considers a media is spreading fake news, he or she should ask for a rectification of the fake information, and if the media refuses, various reactions still exist, some of them on the judicial field. Closing brutally any link doesn't respect this normal way of doing, and for this reason, I condemn it as an act of censorship." 

    The remarks come after Facebook has suspended without prior warning several accounts operated by Maffick Media, an independent media company partially owned by Ruptly, right after CNN ran a report about the company's perceived ties to the Kremlin.

    Reacting to the move, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Monday that Facebook's decision to block pages related to RT was unacceptable, and Russia was waiting for a response from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The ministry stressed Facebook's actions breached internationally accepted freedom of expression principles.

    Earlier in the day, Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of Sputnik and RT, said that media platforms were being used as tools in "a geopolitical confrontation."

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    fake news, International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), RT, Philippe Leruth, Russia
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