State Duma, the lower house of the parliament in Russia, also added that websites found to be discriminating against Russian media’s content would also be banned. The decision was taken after authorities received several complaints from the Russian media this year that their accounts were being censored by Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, all of which are US-based companies. Notably, earlier in 2020, the tech giants based in the US had introduced labels to identify media outlets affiliated with their respective governments.
Now that the draft legislation has been passed in the lower house, it would be presented before the upper house, where also it would need to be passed. Once done, Russian President Vladimir Putin would sign the bill, effectively turning it into a law. Reports believe that these steps are mere formalities.
Russia has been stepping up its efforts to control the Russian content on the internet in recent years, supposedly to “combat online extremism”. Last week, Google was fined by a court in Moscow, since the search engine giant did not take down online content that had been banned by the authorities in Russia.