Twitter on Thursday blocked the official account of Russia's covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V for a short duration, leading to much chatter on the microblogging platform. The account, which was restored shortly after, posted that the suspension was the result of a "possible security breach from Virginia, USA," saying that the threat was later over.
The Twitter account was blocked for at least an hour and a notice read that the platform had seen "some unusual activity" on the page and hence was restricting it from posting.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), sovereign wealth fund who also financed the development of the Sputnik vaccine, earlier tweeted that the account had been restricted.
Sputnik V vaccine account has been restricted by Twitter. Please follow @sputnikvaccine account and ask Twitter to restore access so that Sputnik V can continue sharing info on fighting covid, saving lives and restoring economies.— RDIF (@rdif_press) January 14, 2021
Even though the account was restored soon enough, netizens reacted to the news of the restriction. While some decided there was a bigger conspiracy behind it, a few others cracked jokes over the fact that Twitter found a breach from the US in it.
My word ... what an upside-down world we live in?! Why yes WHY would someone want to log in on the Sputnik account? There can be many reasons but I always say: "Follow the money".— Hanlie Ignatiev (@HanlieI) January 15, 2021
Some even likened the situation to the Whatsapp Facebook data security issue and joked that the vaccine handle should make a new account on Telegram app.
I think you should create a channel in Telegram.— Юстас (@rKgX1GRVmRh0em7) January 15, 2021
Someone even made a direct insinuation to Langley in Virginia where the CIA is headquartered.
Was it Langley, Virginia, USA?— Minister van Agitatie (@MinvanAgitatie) January 14, 2021
Why do I think this is staged?— I am become Death,Destroyer of Worlds (@mtmbrsl) January 14, 2021
There were some discussions on the better vaccine available, whether it was Moderna, Sputnik or the Pfizer.
I’d risk getting the Sputnik V jab than the Pfizer and Moderna ones. But I’m in the US. ☹️— LeonBluff (@LeonRio12) January 15, 2021
Russia will submit a formal application to the European Union next month for approval of its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, the head of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund said on Thursday.
Sputnik V would be produced in seven countries. The regulators in nine countries are expected to approve the vaccine for domestic use this month. It has already been approved in Argentina, Belarus, Serbia and elsewhere.
Russia, which has the world’s fourth-highest number of COVID-19 cases, plans to begin mass vaccinations next week.