Ukraine invasion: Facebook and Instagram block RT and Sputnik in UK at government request | Science and technology news
Facebook and Instagram are blocking RT and Sputnik for UK users following a UK government request.
A letter from Secretary of State for Culture Nadine Dorries follows, in which she urges this Meta, tick tockand Twitter restricting access to Russian state organizations, which she accused of spreading “harmful propaganda in Britain”.
“I urge you to do everything in your power to implement the approach you are taking across the EU to block access to both RT and Sputnik’s online edition on your UK services,” said Mrs. Dorries.
Putin issues new warning – live Ukraine updates
A Meta spokesman told Sky News: “Earlier this week we announced that we will be restricting access to RT and Sputnik across the EU.
“In line with this measure, and at the request of the UK Government, we will also be restricting access to RT and Sputnik in the UK at this time,” they added.
In response to Meta’s move, Ms Dorries tweeted: “Thank you to Meta for heeding my call to remove RT and Sputnik from their platforms in the UK. It is important that we do everything we can to combat the propaganda pushed by Putin’s Russia.”
Ursula von der Leyen announced the EU sanctions against the “Kremlin’s media machine” on Sunday, saying: “The state-owned companies Russia Today and Sputnik and their subsidiaries will no longer be able to spread their lies to justify Putin’s war .”
YouTube made the decision earlier this week block access to RT and Sputnik across Europe and in the UK at the same time.
Twitter and TikTok have yet to respond to Ms Dorries’ request.
Sky News understands these companies are concerned that the EU ban on both RT and Sputnik was based on legislative action by President von der Leyen and that no similar legal action has been taken in the UK.
Read more: Apple halts all product sales in Russia
A source on one of those platforms also expressed concern that Ms Dorries’ letter explains how she had asked Ofcom to investigate RT, noting that the investigation was ongoing and stressing the importance of the correct legal approach is taken.
The particular concern is that RT and Sputnik could have a legal claim against the platforms for banning them in a way that is not in their terms of service but merely followed a letter from a government minister.