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Tik Tok suspends livestreaming and video services in Russia

Tik Tok,the short video and messaging service, owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, announced this afternoon that it has decided to suspend livestreaming and new content to their video service in Russia due to the new ‘Fake News’ Law approved by the Duma that eneterd into force last Friday.
This new law establishes prison punishments of up to 15 years for those who spread misinformation about the actions of the Russian army in Ukraine.
The Russian Law comes after The European Union and USA had banned operations of Russian State funded media RT, Sputnik and Russia Today in their territories.

The suspension does not affect Tik Tok’s messaging service.

The Chinese platform explains that the cut of the streaming service and the stop on the upload of new video contents in Russia has been decided because “the safety of our employees and our users remain our highest priority”.
Tik Tok explains that the cut in the livestreaming service and new content in Russia is, in principlie, temporary “while we review the safety implications of this law” and points: “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.”

The company adds that “TikTok is an outlet for creativity and entertainment that can provide a source of relief and human connection during a time of war when people are facing immense tragedy and isolation.”

Last 4th March the Chinese platform had already updated their policy on safety due to the burst or the war in Ukraine: “In response to the war in Ukraine, we’re expediting the rollout of our state media policy to bring viewers context to evaluate the content they consume on our platform. We’ll begin piloting our policy by applying labels to content from some state-controlled media accounts over the coming days.”

The stop of the service by Tik Tok adds to the massive suspension of their yournalistic operations by international media in Russia due to the “Fake News” Law passed by the Duma, including: BBC, CNN, ABC News, RAI, TVE and RNE, among others. Some news agencies, like the Spanish EFE have suspented or are stopping their activity in the country.

Among the tech giants, Apple paused all product sales in Russia last Tuesday. Moscow has alreadt slowed Google and blocked Facebook and Twitter.
Meta and You Tube paused ads on Russian State media and other selected accounts.

Google has removed some Kremlin’s funded media like RT from Google News.
Russian State media have also been forbidden to use Google tools to buy ads or place ads on Google services, including Gmail.

Image over the headline.- © Tik Tok.

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