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Social media companies sanction Russia

By Orowo Victoria Ojieh

American multinational technology company, Google, has announced sanctions on Russian state-owned media as the war on Ukraine rages on.

YouTube’s owner Google disclosed this in a statement by Google Europe on Tuesday.

Google stated, “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.”

Google issued the statement after other tech giants curbed the reach of Russian state-linked news organizations, which were accused of passing misinformation about Russia’s invasion.

YouTube said it was blocking Russia’s state-run RT and Sputnik news outlets in Europe six days after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an invasion of Ukraine.

Read Also: Hungary Harbours Ukrainian Refugees

TikTok told AFP it had restricted Russian state-owned media access on its platform in the EU, while Microsoft said it was removing RT from its app store and would change its search engine Bing’s algorithm to shift RT and Sputnik content to lower in results.

Meta (Facebook parents) said it would also restrict access in the European Union to RT and Sputnik.

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

Later on Tuesday, Instagram said it would block access to all RT accounts within the EU.

Over the weekend, the European Union announced that it 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

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