Twitter blocked the account of German ZDF program after a story about Russian kidnapping of children in Ukraine.

Twitter has blocked the account of the Frontal program, which is aired on the German ZDF TV channel. This happened shortly after Frontal journalists published their investigation Forced Adoption: The Missing Children of Kherson on the social network. The material describes how Russia steals Ukrainian children in the occupied territories. 

This was reported by the German publication Der Spiegel.

On February 21, the Frontal Twitter account became inaccessible. Instead, the social network issued a notification “This account does not exist”.

The problem with access to the account coincided with the publication of Frontal’s material about how Russia is forcibly taking Ukrainian children from the occupied territories to the territory of the Russian Federation. German journalists also reported on cases where forcibly evacuated Ukrainian families were stuck in Russia and unable to leave.

Journalist Anrdt Ginzel, one of the authors of this investigation, noticed that his tweets were no longer displayed and were hidden by a banner warning of “potentially sensitive content.” 

Source: screenshot from Twitter

Later on Tuesday, February 21, Ginzel published a tweet about the investigation, noting that such deportations and adoptions have the hallmarks of a war crime. The Frontal account shared his post.

On its main page, ZDF reported that it had contacted Twitter to find out the reasons for the blocking. At that time, it was only known that the formal reason for the blocking was allegedly the incorrect year of birth in the account. 

On February 22, ZDF reported that the blocking of Frontal’s Twitter account had been lifted, and the cause of the misunderstanding was still being investigated. “We still can’t understand why there was an error with the wrong age,” the TV channel said. 

 “We are back! We continue to wonder why Twitter suddenly thinks we are ‘underage’ and asks for ID to verify the account,” Frontal wrote and again shared a link to its investigation.

Nevertheless, although Frontal’s account is now available, there are many questions about Twitter. After all, journalists still do not have an official response from the platform regarding the reason for the blocking. Instead, the page of the Russian propaganda media RT still exists on this social network. This media outlet has already been blocked in a number of EU countries, including GermanyFrance, and the Baltic states. 

Earlier, Twitter suspended the accounts of several journalists who had reported on Elon Musk. Many at CNN, the Washington Post, and the New York Times who had written critically of the new owner found their accounts suspended.

Photo: screenshot / ZDF

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