Access to Instagram, Facebook & TikTok Accounts of Sputnik Restricted Across Europe
21:01 GMT 28.02.2022 (Updated: 19:32 GMT 03.11.2022)
© Sputnik / Alexei Kudenko Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov's interview with Sputnik correspondents
© Sputnik / Alexei Kudenko/
Earlier, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen announced the European Union's intention to ban state-owned Russian media outlets, including RT, Sputnik and their subsidiaries, as part of new sanctions imposed on the country amid its military operation in Ukraine.
Instagram has restricted access to multiple accounts that belong to Sputnik News Agency, according to an e-mail distributed late on Monday by the platform.
"Because of an order from the government, court or other authority, access to your account has been restricted in this region," the message says.
The service is unavailable for members of the Sputnik team in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Czech Republic.
In addition to that, such e-mails were sent to Sputnik departments in Ukraine and Turkey.
Further Сensoring From Meta
Apart from that, Meta, formerly known as Facebook, announced that access was restricted to the RT broadcaster and the Sputnik news agency across the European Union, according to the company’s Vice President of Global Affairs and Communications Nick Clegg.
"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," Clegg said on Twitter on Monday.
In an e-mail, sent by Facebook to Sputnik, the platform said access has been restricted “following a review of a legal request” about the agency’s page.
Access was banned in Ukraine, Bulgaria, Estonia, Luxemburg, 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.
“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,” the message says.
In another unprecedented move, TikTok confirmed to several media outlets on Monday that it has restricted access to "Russian-backed" accounts, including Sputnik and RT, throughout the EU.
Ban From Microsoft
Microsoft is set to follow Meta's example, saying “it's complying with an EU directive and will remove the 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,” according to the company's official statement.
As Microsoft noted, it was a move “against state-sponsored disinformation campaigns, which have long been commonplace in times of war.”
On 27 February, amid the operation of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said it plans to ban the Russian state TV channel Russia Today (RT), the Sputnik agency and their subsidiaries in the European Union.
Meanwhile, Russia's Permanent Representative to the UN Vassily Nebenzya said on Sunday that Russia had earlier faced unsubstantiated claims regarding misinformation, including ones related to the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria.
25 February 2022, 18:37 GMT
According to him, there is tremendous spread of disinformation and “fake news” regarding Russia's special military operation in Ukraine, including claims of “bombardment” of civilian facilities.
“Today we witness an information war on Russia in social media. Since there are no proofs that the Russian military has destroyed civilian infrastructure. Ukrainian strikes and occasional hits are presented as such, as well as photo and video footage from Donbas that again depict crimes committed by Ukrainian nationalists,” the diplomat said.
Nebenzya stressed that Western democracies ignore the fact that the Ukrainian military are deploying weapons in residential areas and using people as human shields to accuse Russia of targeting civilians and cover up nationalist formations, not to mention simply fake videos, posted to incite hatred.
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