Sputnik, RT accounts blocked in Europe
Google Europe has announced they will be blocking channels "connected to RT and Sputnik across Europe."
As part of the campaign of sanctions against Russia after its military operation in Ukraine, Google Europe has blocked 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," a statement by the company read on Twitter.
The European Union will ban Russian media outlets RT and Sputnik, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced Sunday, accusing the pair of "spreading harmful disinformation."
The European Union will ban what she claimed to be "the Kremlin's media machine," calling the act an "unprecedented" step.
"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," she asserted. "We are developing tools to ban toxic and harmful disinformation in Europe," von der Leyen claimed despite the mounting Western propaganda on a wide array of issues all over the world.
According to an email sent by Instagram late Monday, access to various accounts belonging to Sputnik News Agency has been prohibited.
The message says that "according to an order from the government, court or other authority, access to your account has been restricted in this region."
Sputnik team members in numerous European countries are unable to use the service. Furthermore, similar emails were addressed to Sputnik offices in Ukraine and Turkey.
According to Meta's Vice President of Global Affairs and Communications Nick Clegg, the company has limited access to the RT broadcaster and the Sputnik news agency across the European Union.
Clegg announced Monday on Twitter that "We have received requests from a number of Governments and the EU to take further steps in relation to Russian state-controlled media. Given the exceptional nature of the current situation, we will be restricting access to RT and Sputnik across the EU at this time."
In an email to Sputnik, Facebook stated that access to the agency's page had been banned "following a review of a legal request."
Ukraine, Bulgaria, Estonia, Luxembourg, Spain, Slovenia, Poland, Hungary, Ireland, Malta, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Portugal, Greece, France, Romania, Finland, Cyprus, Italy, Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Slovakia, Croatia, Belgium, Latvia, Sweden, and Denmark were all barred from accessing the site.
The message notes that "We carefully review each request against our policies and conduct a legal and human rights assessment. After this review, we may restrict access to the reported content in the locations where it is alleged to be unlawful."
TikTok confirmed as well that it has restricted access to "Russian-backed" accounts, including Sputnik and RT throughout the EU.
Following Meta, Microsoft released an official statement that it would be complying with EU directives to remove RT news app from its "Windows store, de-rank Sputnik and RT in Bing results, and remove RT and Sputnik content from MSN and Microsoft Start."
Microsoft attributed the move to be "against state-sponsored disinformation campaigns, which have long been commonplace in times of war."
According to reports, users in the European Union can no longer access the TikTok accounts of Russia-affiliated media outlets such as RT and Sputnik, with Sputnik journalists in Spain and Germany verifying blocked access in the early hours of Tuesday local time.