Roskomnadzor will open access to previously blocked content

Roskomnadzor will open access to previously blocked content

The Russian regulator will help users to restore access to previously blocked content on social networks. This became possible due to a government decree that came into force on 24 July.

Roskomnadzor will open access to previously blocked content

According to the rules, user can contact Roskomnadzor if he/she does not agree with the decision of the social network itself to block (restrict access to) content, and also if he/she has already tried to appeal this decision in the social network itself, but the issue has not been resolved.

In the appeal, you will need to indicate your full name, email address and a link to the blocked content. The appeal may be reviewed up to 30 days. Roskomnadzor may also refuse assistance, for example, if the content contained curses, insults and threats against officials and their families. The reply letter may even state that Roskomnadzor sees no grounds for claims. There may be several reasons for this: the social network itself restored access to the content by that time, the regulator did not gain access to the blocked content, the link itself turned out to be incorrect, or the user complained about a site that was not included in the register of social networks.

The adoption of the regulation is taking place during a systematic and unjustified mass blocking of not only content but even entire accounts of Russian users by certain social networks. Recently, for example, Instagram blocked the account of the Russian writer and politician Zakhar Prilepin. Roskomnadzor supported him in this matter and sent a request for unblocking to the management of Facebook Inc. As a result, access to the page was restored.

Director of the Center for Global IT-Cooperation Vadim Glushchenko notes that overseas regulators pay special attention to the responsible attitude of online platforms to user content. He cites the example of the European Union, which plans to strengthen control over the activities of digital platforms and ensure the protection of rights and freedoms of citizens in the online environment through legislative initiatives implemented in the draft Digital Services Act. 

“The bill, in particular, provides for a timely informing of users concerning any actions of platforms (removal, blocking, etc.) in relation to the content. It also provides citizens and organizations with ample opportunities to appeal against such actions. An important role here is played by the obligatory availability of an accessible, understandable and effective internal complaints system for the platform, as well as a transparent procedure for pre-trial settlement of disputes between the user and the platform,” he adds.


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