Putin gets Facebook page blocked

Vladimir Putin - Wikimedia CommonsA page on Facebook has been pulled in Russia after a state comms regulator asked the social networking corporation to pull it down.

The pages were promoting a rally to be held on January 15th supporting an opposition politician called Alexey Navalney.

According to Bloomberg, Navalney faces a 10 year charge and has been on house arrest since this February.  He is a popular figure and is an anti-corruption activist.

Earlier this year, Russian president Vladimir Putin signed off on laws that gave him and his regulator more power over the internet. The government already controls much of the media including the press and TV.

Bloomberg quotes a Navalny spokesperson as saying that the opposition was surprised by how quickly Facebook blocked the page from its 10.5 million or so users in Russia.

Facebook had nothing to say on why it took the decision to take down the pages.

Navalny faces sentencing on the 15th of January, the day of the proposed rally.  He personally has no access to either the internet or the telephone.