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Latvia thinks of temporary blocking of Facebook

Photo: focus.vesti.lv

The Latvian Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) is in active talks with management of major social networks regarding promotion of political parties in the internet, writes mixnews.lv.

“It is not ruled out that if the talks bear no results, Latvia will need a court decision to block the Facebook,” the Director of KNAB Jēkabs Straume announced.

At a meeting of the Saeima sub-commission on combating corruption, Straume reported on results of the work of his agency last year. In particular, MPs asked whether the bureau can effectively control promotion campaigns of parties in social networks, for instance, in Facebook.

“We considered it a problem. Now, the KNAB is in talks with management of major social networks that allow paid ads. I cannot say now if this communication will be a success. The law clearly states that organizations and companies that run paid ads must send their prices to the KNAB by May 9. If they fail to do this, we will think what to do next. It is not ruled out that we will need a court ruling to block for instance Facebook in Latvia,” the head of the KNAB said.

According to him, KNAB insists that political ads in Facebook must be accompanied by information on who paid for them. Besides, the bureau claims that if necessary there must be a proof of payment.

The news stirred indignation in Latvian social networks. “It looks like the head of the KNAB is trying to draw attention of the whole world to Latvia. Well, it is a success, although the most recent appearance looks weak: the whole internet should be switched off. Why only Facebook? There are Instagram, Youtube, electronic mail and plenty of things where everything can be disseminated without control,” political consultant Jurģis Liepnieks has posted in Twitter.

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