Roskomnadzor is planning to sue both Twitter and Facebook for not complying with laws for Russian citizen data storage. Many people are wondering how this will affect the social media giants in the country.

This could actually lead to both Facebook and Twitter being banned in Russia. This ban however, would be felt far more on Twitter than it would be on Facebook.

Russian law states that cloud and online service providers must store data from and relating to its citizens only within the country’s own territory. Roskomnadzor has asked Twitter and Facebook for a confirmation of their compliance with the 2015 Russian data regulation. Apparently Roskomnadzor is not happy with any of the responses they got.

The media watchdog states:

“Their replies don’t contain any specifics about the actual execution of the law at the current time. Additionally, nothing is mentioned about executing these rules in the near future. This is why, Roskomnadzor feels obligated to start administrative proceedings against both companies.”

A meeting was requested by Roskomnadzor with Twitter but by current information, it doesn’t seem like the company will attend.

A vedomosti report, states that Roskomnadzor is considering a full-scale ban of the social media platforms if they do not prove compliance. Alexander Zharov, the head of the media regulator said that Roskomnadzor would check if Facebook was in compliance. If found not to be, the issue to block the network completely would be raised. Zharov also revealed that Twitter was currently working on a way to transfer data to the country.

Roskomnadzor can potentially ban both social media giants in Russia

At the moment, the probability of a full-scale ban is not high. However, back in 2016, LinkedIn was banned precisely because it did not store Russian citizen data within the country. Despite the ban, more than 60% of Russian users kept using the platform over a year later.

In April last year, the chat app Telegram was also banned in Russia. The ban was issued because the app failed to provide the Federal Security Service (FSB) with access to encrypted user messages.

Twitter has managed to distance itself from the scandals that surround other social media giants. This is why a full-scale ban might have a more negative result on the price share. The firm’s growth expectations are estimated to be around 14% for 2019 or $3.42 billion. Twitter’s share price took a 20% hit back in July 2018 after the news broke out that the platform lost over 1 million users.

If the ban comes into effect, the user base would be severely cut and both the revenues of Twitter and Facebook will suffer.

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