The senators said that although TikTok restricted operations in Russia, it allowed state media to publish news for a while. Also, the platform did not remove previously posted “misleading pro-government content”
Republican U.S. senators sent a message to TikTok CEO Show Zi Chu expressing concern over the placement of Russian state media content on the platform in conditions where the publication of other videos is limited. This is reported by Reuters.
Letter Author— Montana Senator Steve Danes, also signed by John Cornyn (Texas), Roger Wicker (Mississippi), James Lankford (Oklahoma), John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis (Wyoming).
In early March, due to a law adopted shortly after the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, which criminalizes fakes about the actions of Russian troops, TikTok limited its work in the country: it temporarily banned live broadcasts and uploading new content. However, the senators write, the social network has failed to “equally enforce this policy.”
The appeal, quoted by the agency, says that TikTok “allowed Russian state media to flood the platform with dangerous pro-war propaganda.” Posting such content was banned only on March 25. At the same time, the social network did not remove “misleading pro-government content” published before this date, the senators write.
The authors of the letter asked the management of TikTok to answer a series of questions (the agency did not specify which ones). The company told Reuters that they are ready to cooperate. The Russian Embassy in the United States did not respond to the agency's request.
Before TikTok suspended work in Russia, the country's authorities had complaints about the service. In particular, the platform, at the request of the European Union, restricted access to the official accounts of a number of Russian media in Europe, including RT and Sputnik. Roskomnadzor called it “open censorship” and demanded that TikTok lift restrictions. The agency also demanded to explain the reasons for the removal of a number of publications in the official account of the state agency RIA Novosti. The RKN reported that from May 2021 to March 2022, it discovered “seven facts of discrimination against official accounts of Russian media and public figures on the platform.”
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On March 9, the RKN announced that TikTok restricted access to the audio track of President Vladimir Putin's video address for foreign users. The agency considered that such actions of the social network “fundamentally violate the key principles of the free flow of information and unhindered access to it.” At the same time, since the end of February, Russia has blocked access to hundreds of resources on the basis of Art. 15.3 of the law on information.
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