Meta, YouTube, and TikTok block Russian state media in Europe

·2 min read
Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin seen in Moscow, Russia, on February 19, 2022.Sputnik/Aleksey Nikolskyi/Kremlin via REUTERS
  • Meta, YouTube, and TikTok are banning Russian state media Russia Today and Sputnik in the EU.

  • The EU announced at the weekend it would ban RT and Sputnik.

  • A Meta executive said it had received requests from multiple governments to block Russian state media.

Russia's state media outlets Russia Today and Sputnik are having their social media access in the EU largely shut down.

The moves — announced by Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok — mark the greatest restrictions ever imposed on RT and Sputnik by social media companies.

Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Thursday, and the European Union announced on Sunday it would ban Russian state media.

"The state-owned Russia Today and Sputnik, and their subsidiaries, will no longer be able to spread their lies to justify Putin's war," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.

Nick Clegg, the president of global policy at Facebook and Instagram parent company Meta, said in a tweet Monday the company had received requests from a "number of governments" as well as the EU to further restrict Russian state media.

Meta had previously announced on Saturday Russian state media outlets would not be able to place ads or monetize content on its platforms, which include Facebook and Instagram.

"Given the exceptional nature of the current situation, we will be restricting access to RT and Sputnik across the EU at this time," Clegg said.

Google, which also stopped Russian state media placing ads or generating money on both YouTube and Google, announced similar measures for YouTube on Wednesday.

"Due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, we're blocking YouTube channels connected to RT and Sputnik across Europe, effective immediately," the company said in a statement on Twitter.

TikTok confirmed to Insider it would also ban RT and Sputnik and their affiliates in Europe.

Twitter has not yet released a statement on whether it will join the other social media companies in blocking Russia Today and Sputnik in the EU, and did not immediately respond when contacted by Insider for comment.

Twitter announced on Monday it would label tweets containing content from Russian state media sites such as RT and Sputnik.

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