But Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which has increasingly isolated the country in recent days, could also prove to be the death knell for its presence on the worldwide web. On Friday, as sanctions on Russia tightened and fighting in Ukraine continued to intensify, the Russian government said it had decided to block Facebook, citing the social network's moves in recent days to impose restrictions on Russia-controlled media outlets.
While Facebook is by no means the largest platform in the country, blocking it may be a symbolic move to indicate that President Vladimir Putin's government is prepared to go after big global names if they don't toe the party line. (Instagram and WhatsApp, which are more popular in Russia and also owned by Facebook's parent company Meta, have not yet been blocked). Already, the country's main telecom agency, Rozkomnadzor, is exerting pressure on Google (GOOGL) over what it terms "false" information, and has reportedly restricted Twitter (TWTR) as well. Other platforms are choosing to halt operations on their own.