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Russia: RT should ‘protect its interests’ – Peskov on Facebook blocking Maffick Media pages03:12

Russia: RT should ‘protect its interests’ – Peskov on Facebook blocking Maffick Media pages

Russian Federation, Moscow
February 18, 2019 at 11:54 GMT +00:00 · Published

Press Secretary for President of Russia Dmitri Peskov said that RT should “protect its interests” and get an explanation from Facebook following the social media website’s decision to block pages run by Maffick Media, including In The Now. He made the comments during his weekly telephone conference with journalists from Moscow on Monday.

“It’s no secret that many large companies that offer services both in social media and in other digital arenas are also appealing to hostile countries as tools to apply pressure to Russian media,” he said, adding that such behaviour would lead to a “loss of trust” and “serious damage to the reputation” of these digital companies.

“RT should of course protect its interests and get an explanation from this company [Facebook]. We know that they have had to protect their rights before and I hope that RT manages to do it again because that’s what needs to be done,” Peskov added.

Facebook suspended all the pages run by Maffick Media following a CNN report about the company’s ties to the Kremlin. Maffick media is 51 percent owned by RT's video agency Ruptly, while the remaining share belongs to CEO Anissa Naouai. According to CNN, Facebook stated that it would contact the owners of the pages to ask that they disclose where they are run and their affiliation with their parent company in order to get back on the site. However, according to Naouai, Maffick has received no such request thus far. The social network is facing increasing pressure to boost transparency among organisations using the site, including calls from UK MPs for stricter regulation.

Facebook does not require users to provide information about parent companies. A Facebook spokesperson said on Friday that "people connecting with Pages shouldn't be misled about who's behind them. Just as we've stepped up our enforcement of coordinated inauthentic behaviour and financially motivated spam over the past year, we'll continue improving so people can get more information about the Pages they follow."

Talking about the detention of US investor Michael Calvey, Peskov said “we cannot assume he is guilty. He has not been to court yet and he can only be declared guilty by a court decision.”

“We hope that this in no way, and should not, reflect on the investment climate. The state of relations between Russia and other countries has never under any circumstances influenced the entrepreneurial activities of investors here,” he concluded.

According to TASS, Calvey and the other suspects are accused of embezzling 2.5 billion roubles ($37, €33m).

Russia: RT should ‘protect its interests’ – Peskov on Facebook blocking Maffick Media pages03:12
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Press Secretary for President of Russia Dmitri Peskov said that RT should “protect its interests” and get an explanation from Facebook following the social media website’s decision to block pages run by Maffick Media, including In The Now. He made the comments during his weekly telephone conference with journalists from Moscow on Monday.

“It’s no secret that many large companies that offer services both in social media and in other digital arenas are also appealing to hostile countries as tools to apply pressure to Russian media,” he said, adding that such behaviour would lead to a “loss of trust” and “serious damage to the reputation” of these digital companies.

“RT should of course protect its interests and get an explanation from this company [Facebook]. We know that they have had to protect their rights before and I hope that RT manages to do it again because that’s what needs to be done,” Peskov added.

Facebook suspended all the pages run by Maffick Media following a CNN report about the company’s ties to the Kremlin. Maffick media is 51 percent owned by RT's video agency Ruptly, while the remaining share belongs to CEO Anissa Naouai. According to CNN, Facebook stated that it would contact the owners of the pages to ask that they disclose where they are run and their affiliation with their parent company in order to get back on the site. However, according to Naouai, Maffick has received no such request thus far. The social network is facing increasing pressure to boost transparency among organisations using the site, including calls from UK MPs for stricter regulation.

Facebook does not require users to provide information about parent companies. A Facebook spokesperson said on Friday that "people connecting with Pages shouldn't be misled about who's behind them. Just as we've stepped up our enforcement of coordinated inauthentic behaviour and financially motivated spam over the past year, we'll continue improving so people can get more information about the Pages they follow."

Talking about the detention of US investor Michael Calvey, Peskov said “we cannot assume he is guilty. He has not been to court yet and he can only be declared guilty by a court decision.”

“We hope that this in no way, and should not, reflect on the investment climate. The state of relations between Russia and other countries has never under any circumstances influenced the entrepreneurial activities of investors here,” he concluded.

According to TASS, Calvey and the other suspects are accused of embezzling 2.5 billion roubles ($37, €33m).

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