On March 3, the Russian Foreign Ministry released an official statement dedicated to the World Press Freedom Day (declared by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993).
In the statement, the foreign ministry expressed its “concern” over the “politically motivated restrictive activity of Internet platforms that arbitrarily censor [opinions and content] using opaque content moderation tools”.
“A situation has emerged in which American IT giants are able to shape the face of modern communications infrastructure in the interests of own corporations, often ignoring fundamental democratic and ethical norms. Such illegal monopolization of the information space provides a wide field for the dissemination of disinformation and manipulation of public opinion. This, in turn, reinforces mistrust towards the media and communication, and calls into question journalistic activities in general.
The situation with the freedom of speech and access to information in Ukraine remains extremely tense, where journalists are systematically persecuted for carrying out their professional activities, discrimination of media and censorship are legislated. The situation in the information space in the Baltic states is also rapidly degrading, where media workers face persistent persecution from security forces.
We are convinced that such a cynical violation of fundamental democratic principles and an open attack on the human right to seek, receive and disseminate information in the 21st century is simply unacceptable,” the statement reads.
SouthFront Team supports the concern of the Russian Foreign Ministry over the expanding censorship practices and the structural censorship aimed against independent media around the world.
Nonetheless, it should be noted that the above-mentioned statement did not reflect the current scale of censorship and attacks on independent sources of information. The Russian Foreign Ministry did not say a word about the recent US sanctions, which became a part of the ongoing large-scale Washington-led campaign against independent media. This campaign includes extensive and increasing efforts to destroy SouthFront. The US leadership even imposed sanctions against SouthFront’s website and became a pretext for a new wave of censorship and limitations imposed against our team.
In fact, this is hardly the first time when the Russian Foreign Ministry prefers to turn a blind eye on the existing of SouthFront (even when the introduction of the new anti-Russian sanctions is accompanied with mentioning SouthFront itself).
It would be interesting to look how supporters of fairy tales about SouthFront as the “elite center of Kremlin disinformation” would try to explain the intentional ignorance of SouthFront existence by the Russian elites. What far-stretched speculations would be invented this time?
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