China's TikTok Blacklists Content Uploads from Russia
The Chinese-owned social media platform TikTok has suspended livestreaming and content uploads from Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine. Russian users can still watch videos on the platform but have been stripped of the ability to post any content of their own.
The New York Timesreports that the popular Chinese-owned short-form video app TikTok has suspended livestreaming and video upload services in Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine. TikTok said that it was taking action as it investigates Russia’s new law on “fake news.”
The law appears to target media outlets that don’t follow the government’s official stance on the invasion of Ukraine. “Our highest priority is the safety of our employees and our users, and in light of Russia’s new ‘fake news’ law, we have no choice but to suspend livestreaming and new content to our video service in Russia while we review the safety implications of this law,” TikTok said in a statement.
3/ We will continue to evaluate the evolving circumstances in Russia to determine when we might fully resume our services with safety as our top priority. More about our ongoing efforts here: https://t.co/Whwn5KwXmj
— TikTokComms (@TikTokComms) March 6, 2022
A number of tech giants have taken action against Russian state media, with multiple platforms banning Russian media across the EU. Facebook (including Instagram), YouTube, and TikTok have completely banned Russian media outlets like Russia Today and Sputnik throughout the European Union.
An analysis by the New York Times found that videos with the hashtag #Ukrainewar received almost 500 million views on TikTok, with many videos gaining close to one million likes. In comparison to TikTok, the #Ukrainewar hashtag on Instagram had 125,000 posts and the most popular videos on Instagram’s platform had tens of thousands of views.
TikTok’s disabling of livestreams and video uploads from Russia is considered a risky move as it may prevent ordinary Russian citizens from spreading independent information that doesn’t align with the Russian government’s stance on the war in Ukraine. Russian journalists have stated that there could be negative consequences if tech platforms are blocked in Russia and may prevent the dissemination of accurate information.
Read more at the New York Times here.