Facebook has lifted a ban on RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan’s account after less than a day, imposed over an alleged breach of its rules. The US social media giant apologized, while saying the move was a “mistake.”
“If we see that we have made an error we restore the deleted content and apologize for the mistake as it was the case here,” a spokesperson for Facebook in Russia told RIA Novosti news agency, commenting on the sudden change of heart. The social network did not elaborate on the reasons that prompted the ban of the journalist’s account in the first place.
On Thursday, Facebook issued a three-day-long ban against Simonyan while vaguely stating that she allegedly violated “community standards.” RT’s editor-in-chief said she regretted this decision while essentially accusing the company of spreading US censorship beyond America’s national borders. Now, Simonyan has jokingly rejoiced at being reinstated on the social media platform.
The Silicon Valley giant has been facing accusations of bias both at home and abroad, while critics say it has a practice of de facto censoring views not fitting into the US establishment’s outlook. In February, Facebook briefly blocked several RT-linked pages forcing them to reveal their “ties to Russia,” although this was never a secret. Most recently, China accused Facebook of silencing mainland Chinese voices over Hong Kong protests.
In the US, conservative commentator Laura Loomer, who has been banned from several major internet platforms including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, recently filed a lawsuit against the tech giant, accusing it of conspiring to silence her political views.
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