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Twitter cooperating with Russian authorities to ban users for promoting illegal websites

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Russia's media watchdog has enlisted the help of Twitter to ban users posting "unlawful content" on the microblogging service. Russian news agency RIA Novosti reports that Twitter has already assisted the Roskomnadzor with the blocking of five accounts since the beginning of March, which were found to be encouraging suicide and drug use.

In November, Russia passed a new law which allowed authorities to blacklist web content promoting suicide, pedophilia, or drug use. Responsible for overseeing the media, Roskomnadzor monitors Russian websites and its biggest social networks for unlawful content, sending takedown notices before taking further action. In the case of a website, it may need to enforce an IP ban on the infringing server.

Recognizing Twitter as a "hosting provider that has no access to the black list," the Russian watchdog is unable to enforce a IP ban, so it must notify the company of every account it deems unlawful. "If we discover illegal content on their website, we notify them. This procedure will remain in place," said Roskomnadzor spokesperson Vladimir Pikov.