Multinational mainstream companies have announced sanctions on Russian state-owned media, as the war on Ukraine rages on. Such companies include American multinational technology company, Google, American multinational technology corporation, Microsoft and China owned video sharing platform TikTok.
These actions come as sanctions on Russian state-owned assets keep mounting following Russia’s invasion.
Over the weekend, the European Union announced that is banning state-owned Russian media companies Sputnik and RT. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said “The state-owned Russia Today and Sputnik, as well as their subsidiaries, will no longer be able to spread their lies to justify Putin’s war and to sow division in our union.”
The EU Chief added that the EU is developing tools to ban what it sees as toxic and harmful disinformation in Europe.
Google disclosed its actions via a statement through Google Europe on Tuesday, March 1, 2022, stating that, “Due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, we’re blocking YouTube channels connected to RT and Sputnik across Europe, effective immediately. It’ll take time for our systems to fully ramp up. Our teams continue to monitor the situation around the clock to take swift action.”
Video sharing platform TikTok has joined other mainstream media companies to restrict Russian government-controlled media accounts on its platform following Russia’s continuous attack on Ukraine.
This is following the pressure worldwide for all social media platforms to curtail Russia’s propaganda and contain any information Russian media may release as regards the war going on in Ukraine.
According to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) a spokesperson for TikTok confirmed the platform is also restricting Russian government-controlled media accounts, also stating that the media company has been in communication with the European Union and has limited access to the Russian government media.
National Public Radio (NPR) also confirmed that TikTok was blocking two of the Russian media outlets; Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik in the European Union. The resultant effect of this is that people using the platform in countries under the European Union would not be able to access information posted on those media outlets.
In addition, the European Union President Ursula Von Der Leyen announced a ban on the two Russian media outlets in the EU region via her Twitter page. She tweeted; “Second, we will ban the Kremlin’s media machine in the EU. The state-owned Russia Today and Sputnik, and their subsidiaries, will no longer be able to spread their lies to justify Putin’s war. We are developing tools to ban their toxic and harmful disinformation in Europe.”
Microsoft in response to the decision by the European Union to ban Russian media in Europe stated on their blog post “Microsoft on the issues” that they would remove RT and Sputnik content from its App Store and from all its sites.
“We are moving swiftly to take new steps to reduce the exposure of Russian state propaganda, as well to ensure our own platforms do not inadvertently fund these operations. In accordance with the EU’s recent decision, the Microsoft Start platform (including MSN.com) will not display any state-sponsored RT and Sputnik content.
“We are removing RT news apps from our Windows app store and further de-ranking these sites’ search results on Bing so that it will only return RT and Sputnik links when a user clearly intends to navigate to those pages. Finally, we are banning all advertisements from RT and Sputnik across our ad network and will not place any ads from our ad network on these sites,” Microsoft said.
The world is responding to the attacks of Russia on Ukraine and continues to side with the Ukrainian government as they defend their home from the attacks of the Russian government.