Social networks have deleted posts calling for anti-government protests on 23 January, Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor has announced.
TikTok deleted 38 per cent of posts flagged by Russian officials, the agency claimed. YouTube and VKontakte deleted half of their pro-protest content, while Instagram blocked 17 per cent.
The move comes after on 20 January Roskomnadzor appealed to social media platforms to delete viral clips where young people pledged to attend protests calling for the release of jailed opposition leader Alexey Navalny on 23 January. In some videos, students replaced portraits of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s in their own classroom with pictures of the opposition leader. Roskomnadzor said the posts were “disseminating information aimed at involving minors in committing illegal actions”.
Navalny was detained on 17 January after flying from Berlin to Moscow, and jailed following an improvised court hearing in a suburban police station. The activist was hospitalised in Germany for five months back in August after being poisoned by a suspected nerve agent in Omsk. Navalny and a number of western leaders have accused the Kremlin of backing the plot.