Friday, May 24, 2013

Russia Bans Largest Social Network "By Mistake"

Russia's top online social network was banned on Friday from distributing content across the country, raising concerns of a clampdown on a forum used by President Vladimir Putin's opponents to organise protests. The ban on VKontakte follows more than a month of pressure on the company and its founder, Pavel Durov, who has drawn comparisons with Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg for building an online network with 210 million registered users. VKontakte's web site ( was still working in Moscow, but some media reports said it had been blocked in parts of the country. No reason for the ban was officially given. Several hours later, however, Vladimir Pikov, a spokesman for Roskomnadzor, the Russian media supervision agency, announced the ban was a "mistake." "A Roskomnadzor employee checked a wrong box," explained the official.

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