MOSCOW — Russia launched administrative action against Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. on Monday for failing to comply with its data laws, a move that comes just days after Facebook removed the accounts of what it said were two misinformation campaigns based in the country.
Communications watchdog Roskomnadzor, the federal executive body responsible for censorship in media and telecommunications, said the social-media networks hadn’t submitted any formal and specific plans or submitted an acceptable explanation of when they would meet the country’s requirements that all servers used to store Russians’ personal data be located in Russia. Roskomnadzor said it had sent the companies a letter on Dec. 17 advising them of the need to comply with the law and giving them 30 days to provide “a legally valid response,” Russian news agency Interfax reported.
As such, “Today, Roskomnadzor begins administrative proceedings against both companies,” the watchdog said.
The move raises concern that the social-media giants could face future restrictions or be blocked. On Thursday, Facebook
said it would expand efforts to crack down on misuse of its service by removing some 500 pages and accounts linked to what it said were two Russia-based misinformation campaigns. Vadim Ampelonsky, a spokesman for Roskomnadzor, told the television channel Russia 24 that Facebook and Twitter
could be fined for not providing information to the watchdog.
Also popular on WSJ.com:
Want news about Europe delivered to your inbox? Subscribe to MarketWatch’s free Europe Daily newsletter. Sign up here.