U.S.-based social networks have been credited with helping protesters in many countries topple oppressive regimes, or at least try. These “Facebook Revolutions” and “Twitter Revolutions” mostly took place three or four years ago, however — in tech time, they’re ancient history. Governments have learned a lot from the Arab Spring and other such protests, and social networks have turned into mature companies that must, by definition, maintain good relations with the authorities.

Facebook proved it last Saturday by blocking an announcement inviting Muscovites to attend a January rally in support of anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny, who is about to be sentenced to a long prison term on trumped-up charges.

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