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Russia: Facebook outage shows internet sovereignty needed

Russian social networks reported a spike in activity during Monday’s global Facebook outage which Moscow officials said showed that Russia was right to develop its own sovereign internet platforms and social networks.

Russia has sought for years to assert greater sovereignty over its internet segment, putting pressure on foreign tech firms to delete content and store data in Russia. It has also improved its ability to block platforms that break its rules.

Maria Zakharova, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said during the near six-hour outage of Facebook services on Monday evening that this “answers the question of whether we need our own social networks and internet platforms”.

Facebook blamed its outage, which kept its 3.5 billion users from accessing services such as WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger, on a faulty configuration change.

Russia’s largest home-grown social network, Vkontakte, has far more daily users in the country than Facebook and reported a spike in messages and users after Facebook’s services dropped.

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