Jenny Kane/AP file picture
Fb, TikTok and Microsoft are cracking down on Kremlin-backed information shops RT and Sputnik following the European Union’s ban on Russian state media.
“We now have obtained requests from numerous governments and the EU to take additional steps in relation to Russian state managed media. Given the distinctive nature of the present state of affairs, we will probably be proscribing entry to RT and Sputnik throughout the EU right now,” stated Nick Clegg, vp of world affairs at Fb dad or mum Meta.
A spokesperson for TikTok advised NPR it was additionally blocking the 2 shops within the EU. The strikes imply individuals utilizing the social media apps in EU international locations will not have the ability to entry pages or content material posted by RT and Sputnik.
Microsoft on Monday stated it will drop RT’s information apps from its smartphone app retailer, not show any RT or Sputnik content material on its Microsoft Begin information feed and MSN.com, and push the websites down in Bing search outcomes.
On Sunday, EU President Ursula von der Leyen introduced a ban on the 2 shops, which she described as “the Kremlin’s media machine.”
“The state-owned Russia Right this moment and Sputnik, and their subsidiaries, will not have the ability to unfold their lies to justify Putin’s struggle,” she tweeted.
The Russian media shops have emerged as a flashpoint for social media platforms, that are beneath stress to curb Russian propaganda and disinformation in regards to the struggle in Ukraine.
RT and Sputnik have amassed massive followings on apps together with Fb, Instagram and YouTube, the place they push a pro-Kremlin agenda. RT, which has greater than 7 million followers on its predominant Fb web page and 4.6 million subscribers to its predominant YouTube channel, has framed Russia’s invasion as a response to Ukrainian aggression and toed the Kremlin’s line in calling it a “particular operation.”
Google and Fb are additionally blocking Russian state media in Ukraine on the request of the federal government there. Together with Microsoft, they’ve additionally minimize off state-backed shops from utilizing their promoting instruments.
Earlier on Monday, Twitter stated it will put warning labels on tweets with hyperlinks to tales from Russian state media. It is also making it much less doubtless individuals will see these tweets, just like what it has achieved with false claims in regards to the 2020 election and COVID-19.
Editor’s be aware: Meta pays NPR to license NPR content material. Microsoft is amongst NPR’s monetary supporters.
NPR’s Bobby Allyn contributed to this report.