TikTok Suspends Livestreaming and New Uploads From Russia

TikTok said on Sunday that it would suspend livestreaming and new content uploaded from Russia, becoming the latest tech company to withdraw from the country.

TikTok, which owns the Chinese company ByteDance, said it was taking action while reviewing Russia’s new law on “fake news”. The law appears to target media outlets that ignore the Kremlin’s line on the invasion of Ukraine.

“Our top 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 live streaming and new content on our video service in Russia when we review the safety implications.” This law, “TikTok said in a statement.

Last week, Tiktok joined Meta, Twitter and YouTube to ban Russian state-backed media in the European Union and to label state-backed media in the rest of the world. Information about the invasion of tech platforms was intercepted in the midst of the war when Ukrainian leaders and US and European officials called on Russia to cut off Russia’s efforts to censor its content.

Millions turn to TikTok for live updates and video clips of the fighting in Ukraine. The company is facing a flood of videos, some of which are intended to show action on the ground but have not been tested. This has led to growing concern that TikTok is spreading false information about the attack.

According to a review by The New York Times, the video with the hashtag #Ukrainewar has garnered nearly 500 million views on TikTok, with some of the most popular videos receiving nearly 1 million likes. In contrast, the hashtag #Ukrainewar had 125,000 posts on Instagram and the most popular videos were viewed thousands of times.

TikTok said last week that it had devoted more resources to monitoring misleading content about the war.

It is difficult to stop live streaming and new uploads from Russia because it could prevent ordinary Russians from disseminating independent information. Some Russian journalists and censorship experts have warned that blocking tech platforms in Russia could have negative consequences.

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