Tech Giants, European Regulators Block Russian State Media

Image copyright: TechCrunch

The Facts

  • As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, the EU has moved to limit access to Russian state-controlled media outlets, including Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik, to social media channels within the EU.

  • The claimed justification for the move, which was announced by Tech Giants Meta (Facebook & Instagram), Alphabet (YouTube) and TikTok, was to curb Russia's efforts to justify the conflict in Ukraine through misinformation campaigns.

The Spin

Anti-Russia narrative

This is the best option for tackling Russia's misinformation and lies, but the crisis in Ukraine presents a terrible dilemma for social media companies. On the one hand, these Apps are a powerful resource for voices of dissent within Russia, but on the other hand they can easily become a tool for spreading propaganda in the hands of the Russian state news media, which must be stopped.

Pro-Russia narrative

Western governments and internet giants are aligned in a witch hunt that amounts to a direct persecution of Russian journalists.

Libertarian narrative

This is a mistake. The issue isn't with Russian media's right to speak, but with our right to hear. Ideas must fight for themselves, and having insight into the propaganda is the first step in defending against it. Besides, banning Russian state media will only play into the hands of Putin by giving him retaliatory pretext for banning Western media.

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