TikTok deletes posts promoting illegal pro-Navalny protest

TikTok has deleted some “illegal” post promoting protests aimed at securing the release of government critic Alexei Navalny, Russia said on Friday.

Russia has also opened a criminal case into Navalny’s supporters.

Since he was jailed this week,Posts promoting Navalny and protests planned for Saturday have been viewed more than 300 million times on TikTok, the Chinese-owned video sharing app.

Unfazed by official warnings against the rallies, young Russians have posted exuberant videos paying tribute to Navalny and mocking President Vladimir Putin as a prelude to the planned demonstrations.

Also,Russian investigators have opened a criminal case into what they described as an attempt to get minors to commit illegal acts that could endanger their safety.

A Russian Communications watchdog, Roskomnadzor, which had threatened to fine social platforms over protest-related content, said TikTok had deleted 38% of the posts it had deemed illegal by Friday.

It added, however, that new calls for Russians to take to the streets were still emerging on the service.

Roskomnadzor said that TikTok – which had no immediate comment – was the platform where users were most actively calling for protests in support of Navalny.

YouTube, according to Roskomnadzor, had deleted 50% of the posts that the regulator said had urged minors to protest. Instagram had followed suit taking down 17% of those posts.

The Kremlin said the measures taken by Roskomnadzor were “absolutely justified”.

Students across Russia have posted videos of themselves taking down portraits of Putin hanging on the walls of classrooms and swapping them for pictures of a grinning Navalny.