6 Mar 2022 23:41

TikTok suspends streaming, video creation in Russia - statement

MOSCOW. March 6 (Interfax) - TikTok has made a decision to ban posting new videos and streaming in Russia temporarily due to the "fake news" law, the company said in a statement.

"[...] the safety of our employees and our users remain our highest priority. In light of Russia's new 'fake news' law, we have no choice but to suspend livestreaming and new content to our video service while we review the safety implications of this law. Our in-app messaging service will not be affected," the statement said.

"We will continue to evaluate the evolving circumstances in Russia to determine when we might fully resume our services with safety as our top priority," it said.

On February 28, Russia's telecommunications watchdog Roskomnadzor demanded that TikTok remove military or political content from recommended videos for minors.

On March 4, the Federation Council endorsed a bill amending the Russian Criminal Code to penalize the dissemination of false information about the operations of Russian forces, the discrediting of the Russian Armed Forces, and calls for anti-Russian sanctions.

The bill augments the Russian Criminal Code with Article 207.3 on the public dissemination of knowingly false information about the operations of the Russian Armed Forces aimed to protect the interests of Russia and its population. The maximum penalty is ten to 15 years in prison (in the event of severe consequences).

In addition, the Criminal Code will have Article 280.3 "Public actions aimed at discrediting operations of the Russian Armed Forces that protect the interests of Russia and its citizens and maintain world peace and security." The penalty will range from a fine of 100,000 to 300,000 rubles to five years of imprisonment.

After the bill had been passed, a number of media outlets, including TV Rain television channel (added to the list of foreign agent media by the Russian Justice Ministry), BBC, Bloomberg, CNN, and others, announced suspending their work.