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TikTok suspends live streaming and new video content in Russia

TikTok and Netflix join a long list of big tech companies boycotting Russian users as the invasion rages on.

Russia’s TikTok app will now appear “view-only” in Russia, according to company spokeswoman Hilary McQuaide, who spoke to AP. (Image credit: Pixabay)

TikTok has suspended live streaming and posting of new content on their platform by Russian users in 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 where people face immense tragedy and isolation. However, the safety of our employees and our users remains our top priority,” said a tweet from the company handle.

In a separate blog post from the company, TikTok also said it has engaged with many experts around the world to develop and inform its definition of state-controlled media so that media where a government exercises control over editorial decisions can be accurately labeled on the Platform.

The blog post also mentions the company’s team to counter misinformation, which it says has team members who speak more than 60 languages, including Russian and Ukrainian. TikTok is currently under investigation by multiple US states over the impact of the social media platform on the mental health of children and young adults.

Video streaming platform Netflix also suspended its service in Russia on Sunday. It also temporarily halted all future projects and acquisitions in the country. With this development, TikTok and Netflix have joined a growing list of global tech companies boycotting Russian users in response to the invasion.

On Saturday, Activision Blizzard announced that the company will suspend sales of new games in Russia while the dispute continues. On Sunday, Epic Games jumped on the bandwagon and announced that it would “stop trading with Russia.” Other game companies like CD Projekt Red (the Witcher series and Cyberpunk 2077), EA Games (FIFA and NHL) have taken similar action.

Microsoft has also suspended all new sales of its products and services in the country, including Minecraft, which has been removed from Google Play and the App Store in Russia. On March 4, Google announced that it would suspend all advertising in the country as part of a decision applicable to 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 announced the formation of a special operations center to monitor the conflict.

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