April 5, 2018 / 10:01 AM / 18 days ago

Kremlin calls Facebook's removal of Russian media accounts censorship

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin on Thursday said Facebook’s removal of accounts controlled by various Russian media was a hostile move that smacked of censorship.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov attends a meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

Facebook said on Tuesday it had deleted hundreds of Russian accounts and pages associated with a “troll factory” indicted by U.S. prosecutors for fake activist and political posts in the 2016 U.S. election campaign.

When asked about Facebook’s move, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Thursday agreed with a questioner from one of the affected media outlets that it was a hostile step which smacked of censorship.

“Yes it is,” Peskov told a conference call with reporters. “We are of course following this and we regret it.”

Reporting by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Andrey Ostroukh

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