‘Iron Firewall’: Russians can now be jailed for calling war ‘war’ as Putin cancels Facebook in blow to free speech
Vladimir Putin is surging forward with his illegal war against the sovereign nation of Ukraine, and now the Russian Federation President is expanding his war to include his own citizens. Putin may not be shelling Moscow or Saint Petersburg but he is imposing fascist and draconian policies on Russians.
As of Saturday, anyone who publicly calls Putin’s war on Ukraine a “war” can be jailed for up to 15 years, The New York Times reports. The new law, passed by the Russian Parliament Friday, applies to not only news articles and broadcast news but even social media.
President Putin is assisting citizens tempted to not use the Kremlin’s mandatory phrasing, “special military operation” when referring to his war of choice against Ukraine on social media by banning Facebook, a social media platform with an estimated reach of 61 million people in Russia.
“Announcements that the law was coming had already pushed Russian independent media outlets to shut down in recent days, and more followed on Friday,” The Times notes.
Echoing Cold War sentiment, Bloomberg Opinion columnist Parmy Olson is calling it an “Iron firewall.”
Reports from credible sources say Twitter is also now blocked inside Russia:
Twitter is now completely blocked in Russia, reports @mediazzzona, (citing @globalchecknet). https://zona.media/news/2022/03/04/Twitter\u00a0\u2026pic.twitter.com/ArF9qoKRe7— Eilish Hart (@Eilish Hart) 1646422742
Some technology analysts say Putin won’t stop at Facebook:
With Putin willing to block Facebook and Twitter, he will go after YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, WhatsApp, and other apps. He will cut off Russians from being able to see the truth and completely control the flow of information online.— Justen (@Justen) 1646418492