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Russia has limited access to Facebook and other Meta apps, following a complaint the company is censoring misinformation from some of the country’s media outlets.

Amid the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, POLITICO reported Russian-backed news agencies have been accusing Ukraine’s government of genocide.

The outlets have also shared speeches and remarks from Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is accused of rewriting history in his remarks and is the clear aggressor in his war against Kyiv and its government.

After Facebook began censoring some posts, and fact-checking others, Russia’s media regularity agency lashed out at the California-based company.

Insider reported Russia’s government issued a release noting that it would limit its citizens’ access to Facebook by slowing down traffic.

The release stated:

On February 24, the Facebook social network (Meta Platforms, Inc.) restricted the official accounts of four Russian media outlets: the Zvezda TV channel, the RIA Novosti news agency, and the and Internet sites.

…in accordance with the law, takes measures to partially restrict access in the form of slowing down traffic.

Nick Clegg, the president for global affairs at Meta Platforms, issued a statement about the issue on Twitter Friday afternoon.

“Ordinary Russians are using @Meta’s apps to express themselves and organize for action. We want them to continue to make their voices heard, share what’s happening, and organize through Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger.”

He issued the following statement:

Yesterday, Russian authorities ordered us to stop the independent fact-checking and labelling of content posted on Facebook by four Russian state-owned media organizations. We refused. As a result, they have announced they will be restricting the use of our services.

Ordinary Russians are using our apps to express themselves and organize for action. We want them to continue to make their voices heard, share what’s happening, and organize through Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.

Putin’s forces continued their assault on Ukraine Friday, and there are reports Russian forces intend to encircle Kyiv this weekend.

It is not clear how many Ukrainians have died since the war began on Thursday, although deaths have been confirmed.

CNN, which noted it could not independently verify the claims, reported the Ukrainian Defense Ministry has “inflicted some 800 casualties on Russian forces since the invasion began.”

Ukraine’s government further claims it has destroyed 30 Russian tanks, and 13 airlines and helicopters.

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Tags: facebook meta misinformation nick clegg russia ukraine ukraine’s government what’s happening share what’s access to facebook russian forces media outlets and messenger fact checking four russian facebook

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Here's How Much Tappan Zee Bridge Toll Could Increase If NY Thruway Proposal Takes Effect

It could soon cost more to drive on the New York State Thruway, and that includes the Tappan Zee Bridge.

The New York State Thruway Authority’s board of directors will meet Monday, Dec. 5, to consider a proposed toll hike that would begin in 2024, WIVB in Buffalo reports. 

Tolls would increase by 5-percent for E-ZPass customers in 2024 and 5-percent again in 2027, according to the outlet. 

Those with out-of-state E-ZPasses or who are paying by mail would pay 75-percent more than the tolls for New York E-ZPass holders.

That’s up considerably compared to the current 15-percent differential for out-of-state E-ZPass users and 30-percent differential for those who pay by mail.

If the proposal is approved, drivers on the Tappan Zee Bridge would see tolls go up 35-percent over four years, from $5.75 to $7.75, according to Rockland County Executive Ed Day. 

The Thruway Authority says the higher tolls are needed to help update aging infrastructure, but several local leaders have criticized the plan, including Day, who sent a letter to the Authority saying the move would hurt families.

“Families this year are already struggling with record-breaking inflation reaching a 40-year high and skyrocketing gas prices and any move by the New York State Thruway Authority to pinch the wallets of hardworking families even further is infuriating,” Day writes in the letter, which was made public Thursday, Dec. 1. 

“I respectfully urge the members of the Thruway Authority Board to show compassion for families who are coping with increasing prices across the board and refrain from implementing any toll increases in the current economic climate.”

State Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbera, a Democrat who represents the 111th Assembly District in the Capital Region, echoed Day's sentiment in a post on Twitter Wednesday, Nov. 30, calling the proposal "outrageous."

“I’m shocked to see the New York State thruway Authority has come out with yet another toll hike proposal today while families are still struggling with the effects of inflation and rising costs,” he said.

“Working families shouldn’t be further burdened during these difficult times.”

Santabarbera said he planned to introduce legislation that would enact a “much-needed” two-year toll-hike freeze, calling the Thruway Authority “out of touch with the times we are living in.”

Monday’s vote would kick off a period of public hearings and public comment sessions. A final vote on the proposed toll hike would come within the next year, Thruway Authority spokesperson Jonathan Dougherty told the Albany Times Union.

The new Tappan Zee Bridge's official name is the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. The old Tappan Zee Bridge's official name was the Governor Malcolm Wilson Bridge.

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