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Russia has expressed frustrations regarding US-based social media recently, and the general cavalier attitude of posters. Russia's internet regulatory agency known as Roskomnadzor has issued a severe warning to Twitter regarding 'repeated takedown requests' of posts.

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A few short hours after the warning was issued, Russia began intentionally slowing speeds to Twitter. Russians occupy 3% of the Twitterverse, according to a recent poll conducted that also showed that Russians were increasing their usage of daily social networks by roughly 50% of active users annually. Yet precisely how the Russian agency, fully named 'Russia's Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media,' opted to slow the social media network has a few citizens in a fury.

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Roskomnadzor opted to slow all content that holds a specific string within the URL, being 't.co'. Reports have been coming in from Russian users of a wide array of platforms suddenly being unusable. The perennial Steam platform is one of those affected by Roskomnadzor's decision, with reported speeds going from 10 MB per second to 70 KB per second. This was discovered by Russian Twitter users, who noted that a GitHub branch was slowed, and deduced the precise string of letters that results in a slowdown of network traffic.

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The attempted slowdown has reportedly resulted in a loss of functionality for multiple organizations. Microsoft, GitHub, Russia Today, Steam, and Twitter are among the sites that are currently struggling under the ruling. The feud between Twitter and Russia has some pointing to connections between former President Trump being removed from the social media platform, while others are pointing to the agency's request. Admittedly, the requests seem reasonable: the removal of users encouraging suicide, information on drug usage, and alleged child pornography on the platform.

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Still, others are pointing towards the beginning of China controlling all aspects of media for its citizens, closely monitoring how its citizens interact online for the purpose of absolute control. This may be the break for analysts attempting to understand the suddenly ramped-up outcry of the agency towards Twitter as additional citizens join recently imprisoned Putin opponent, Alexei Navalny. With the Kremlin's arm struggling to regain control of the population that has been increasingly outspoken, the curation of acceptable media within the nation would be a reasonable first step.

In spite of this, multiple affected organizations have a history of working in tandem with China. The exploitation of lower-class workers of China allows the companies to pocket a larger portion of the price. Steam, for example, has a sanitized version of the platform solely for the purpose of engaging consumers in China. Microsoft used Uyguhr labor for products, according to an Australian Strategic Policy Institute report. This history of working with despots implies that the blocking was an accident on the part of the agency looking to only slow Twitter.

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Sources: Australian Strategic Policy Institute, GPB, Levada, Meduza, ValdikSS/Twitter, USA TODAY

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