TikTok has suspended live streaming and the posting of new content to their platform from Russian users as a response to Russia’s new ‘fake news’ law.“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. However, the safety of our employees and our users remain our highest priority,” said a tweet from the company’s handle.
In a separate company blog post, TikTok also said that it has been engaging with many experts around the world to develop and inform its definition of state-controlled media so that media outlets where a government exercises control over editorial decisions can be labelled accurately on the platform.
The blog post also mentions the company’s team for battling misinformation which it claims contains team members who speak more than 60 languages including Russian and Ukrainian. TikTok is currently being investigated many states in the United States over the social media platform’s impact on the mental health of children and young adults.
Video-streaming platform Netflix also suspended its service in Russia on Sunday. It also temporarily stopped all future projects and acquisitions from the country. With this development, TikTok and Netflix have joined a growing l of global tech firms that are boycotting Russian users as a response to the invasion.
On Saturday, Activision Blizzard announced that the company will be suspending the sale of new games in Russia while the conflict continues. On Sunday, Epic Games joined the bandwagon and announced that it will “stop commerce with Russia.” Other gaming companies like CD Projekt Red (the Witcher series and Cyberpunk 2077), EA Games (FIFA and NHL) have taken similar actions.
Microsoft has also suspended all new sales of its products and services in the country, including Minecraft, which was removed from the Google Play and App Store in Russia. On March 4, Google announced that it will pause all advertisements in the country in a move that is applicable for Search, Display and YouTube ads.
Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have already taken steps to restrict access to Russian government-affiliated media on their platforms. On February 25, Facebook had announced the formation of a special operations centre to monitor the conflict.