Ex-Russian president calls out Twitter censorship

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Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has claimed that Twitter blocked his last post, thereby bowing to pressure from the US State Department and Ukraine. The official, who currently serves as the deputy chair of Russia’s Security Council, compared this treatment to the ban imposed by Twitter on former US president Donald Trump in January 2021.

Medvedev’s Twitter account is accessible as of Monday. However, his last post is not, with a note reading “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules” displayed instead.

In a post on Telegram on Monday, Medvedev wrote, “Twitter has caved in to the pressure by the State Department and Ukrainians.” He also expressed regret that Twitter CEO Elon Musk had “clearly failed this task” and accused the social media platform of serving the “interests of the US establishment.”

In the wake of the Capitol Hill riots in January 2021, Twitter announced the permanent suspension of Trump’s account, citing the “risk of further incitement of violence.” In November of last year, Musk restored his account. However, the former US president has still largely been using his own social media platform – Truth Social.

Last month, several high-ranking officials suggested unblocking Twitter in Russia after the social media platform lifted its own restrictions against accounts belonging to or affiliated with the Russian government, such as those of the Kremlin and the Foreign Ministry.

Around the same time, Musk rejected calls to suspend Medvedev’s account after the latter claimed in his post that Ukraine was going to disappear as a state.

Musk argued at the time that “all news is to some degree propaganda,” and that people should have the chance to “decide for themselves.” He added that enacting censorship would be a sign of weakness.

Twitter imposed restrictions on Russian state-affiliated accounts in April 2022, after Moscow launched its military campaign against Ukraine.

A month prior, Russian authorities blocked the social media platform in the country for what they described as spreading misinformation about the Ukraine conflict.

Twitter’s policies started to change after Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion last fall.