International censorship mounted against Russian state-affiliated media outlets | #socialmedia | #education | #technology | #infosec


In recent days, censorship measures have been taken by the European Union (EU), tech and social media platforms and streaming services internationally against media sources with connections to the Russian government.

Russian state-owned television station RT logo is seen at the window of the company’s office in Moscow, Russia. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, File)

On Wednesday, the EU put into effect a ban on the Russian state media outlets RT and Sputnik that had been announced on Sunday. The sanctions impact both the traditional broadcast signals and all affiliated online platforms and mobile apps.

EU media regulators will be monitoring compliance with the ban across all 28 countries with the risk of fines being imposed on any providers found to be continuing to distribute the media content.

RT is an international television network funded by the Russian government. It operates pay television or free-to-air channels directed to audiences outside of Russia, including content on the internet in English, Spanish, French, German, Arabic and Russian. Sputnik, formerly called Voice of Russia, is a state-run news agency and radio broadcast service.

On Sunday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said, “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.”

On Tuesday, the satellite TV and streaming service DirecTV announced it was dropping RT from its roster of television programs “effective immediately.” The TV provider, which is owned by the media conglomerate AT&T, said that the decision was an acceleration of “this year’s contract expiration timeline” which was already under review and set to expire later this year.

On Thursday, a report on CNN Business said RT America was shutting down operations and laying off most of its staff. According to a memo obtained by the cable news network, the production company behind RT America was ceasing production at its locations in New York, Miami, Los Angeles and Washington D.C., “as a result of unforeseen business interruption events.”

Misha Solodovnikov, the general manager of T&R Productions, told staff members that the layoffs were permanent. CNN Business said that DirecTV dropping the channel, one of two major TV providers that carried RT, dealt “a major financial blow to the network.”


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