Jenny Kane/AP file photograph
Fb, TikTok and Microsoft are cracking down on Kremlin-backed information retailers RT and Sputnik following the European Union’s ban on Russian state media.
“We now have obtained requests from quite a few 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 can be proscribing entry to RT and Sputnik throughout the EU presently,” mentioned Nick Clegg, vp of world affairs at Fb mum or dad Meta.
A spokesperson for TikTok informed NPR it was additionally blocking the 2 retailers within the EU. The strikes imply folks utilizing the social media apps in EU nations will not have the ability to entry pages or content material posted by RT and Sputnik.
Microsoft on Monday mentioned it might 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 retailers, which she described as “the Kremlin’s media machine.”
“The state-owned Russia At present and Sputnik, and their subsidiaries, will not have the ability to unfold their lies to justify Putin’s struggle,” she tweeted.
The Russian media retailers have emerged as a flashpoint for social media platforms, that are beneath strain to curb Russian propaganda and disinformation in regards to the struggle in Ukraine.
RT and Sputnik have amassed giant 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 most important Fb web page and 4.6 million subscribers to its most important 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 lower off state-backed retailers from utilizing their promoting instruments.
Earlier on Monday, Twitter mentioned it might put warning labels on tweets with hyperlinks to tales from Russian state media. It is also making it much less doubtless folks will see these tweets, just like what it has executed 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.