Between Tinder crashing and the buried admission that nearly all two billion users had their information “scraped,” Facebook isn’t having a great time in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. CEO Mark Zuckerberg is scheduled to appear before various House and Senate committees beginning next week, but aside from the public and political fallout in the United States, the social media giant is also facing pressure abroad. For example, Australia recently launched an investigation into the company’s data dealings. Russia, meanwhile, has declared that Facebook’s efforts to save face are more akin to “censorship.”
According to Reuters, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov agreed with a questioner’s sentiment that Facebook’s decision to evict the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a noted Russian troll farm, “smacked of censorship.” Speaking with reporters on a conference call, Peskov said, “Yes it is… We are of course following this and we regret it.” The brief statement echoed a much larger one given by Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova to the state-run media outlet RT (Russia Today):
“It is clear that this is part of the anti-Russian campaign in which the media landscape is being cleansed of alternative sources of information, under the pretext of Russian interference in the 2016 election… It is odd that a company that celebrates openness is resorting to totalitarian methods of control and censorship on the basis of dubious criteria.”
If the Kremlin is that angry about Facebook’s recent actions, just imagine what they’ll say and do once they hear about what happened to Tinder.