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Facebook, Twitter, Google, Netflix ALL BLOCK Russian News Broadcasts, Content At Direct Behest Of The European Union

You’re only allowed to see one narrative if you’re in Europe

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Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images / screenshot composite

Big tech has moved in lockstep to censor Russian news networks Sputnik and RT, further ensuring that westerners only receive one narrative when it comes to coverage of the conflict in Ukraine.

Facebook is restricting access to content from RT and Sputnik on both its main social media platform and Instagram following “requests from a number of governments,” according to he company’s vice president Nick Clegg.

The move comes just hours after the EU announced it will ban RT and Sputnik broadcasts across the bloc, with European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen declaring that the networks are spreading “harmful disinformation,” and that the EU is further “developing tools to ban toxic and harmful disinformation in Europe.”

Following pressure from EU officials on Google and its subsidiary YouTube to crackdown on content from the Russian news networks, the tech giant also announced that it will block YouTube channels “connected to RT and Sputnik across Europe, effective immediately”.

Facebook and Google already both barred RT and Sputnik from monetizing content on the platforms last week.

Users who attempt to visit the YouTube channels of either Sputnik or RT or watch videos posted from those channels are now met with a message saying “this channel is not available in your country,” and “this video is not available in your country,” This even applies to non-EU countries, including the UK.

At time of writing, RT and Sputnik’s YouTube channels are still accessible in the U.S., and Europeans can access the channels and videos if they use a VPN.

In the UK, RT TV broadcasts are not yet being blocked (Sputnik stopped broadcasting last year) because the country is no longer a part of the EU and there is a broadcast regulator that is somewhat independent of the government.

Twitter will also begin putting warning labels on all content related to Sputnik and RT, as well as continuing “to de-amplify articles from these websites by barring the URLs from the platform’s top search function,” according to Politico.

Netflix has also announced it is blocking all Russian TV channels, which were previously available on the platform in the country owing to a Russian law mandating they be included.

It is very clear that big tech has taken all of these actions immediately at the direct behest of the EU, and not of individual governments. Countries such as the UK are not even a part of the EU, yet the platforms have taken the same actions there. Critics have warned that sets another dangerous precedent and highlights that information can be completely restricted with the proverbial flick of a switch without any government involvement or oversight.

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    DeSantis Threatens Congressional Action if Apple Boots Twitter From App Store

    Blasts company for helping CCP crush dissent in China.

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    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis blasted Apple for helping the Communist Chinese Party crush dissent while apparently planning to do the same in America by kicking Twitter off the app store.

    DeSantis made the comments after Elon Musk indicated he was going to war with the iPhone maker following the revelation that Apple was threatening to delete Twitter from its app store over Musk’s support for free speech.

    The Florida Governor noted that Apple’s threat was made shortly before an expected ban amnesty on Twitter was due to take place that would have seen countless unfairly suspended accounts return to the platform.

    “If Apple responds to that by nuking them from the App Store, I think that would be a huge, huge mistake and it would be a really raw exercise of monopolistic power that I think would merit a response from the United States Congress,” DeSantis said.

    He also cited reports that Apple was restricting the AirDrop feature in China, preventing protesters against Beijing’s brutal ‘zero COVID’ lockdown from communicating with each other.

    “Don’t be a vassal of the [Chinese Communist Party] on one hand and then use your corporate power in the United States on the other to suffocate Americans and try to suppress their right to express themselves,” DeSantis said.

    The Florida Governor noted that many of the unfairly suspended Twitter accounts had been nuked for “putting out accurate information about COVID,” accusing “the old regime” on Twitter of trying to “suffocate the dissent” surrounding lockdowns and vaccine mandates.

    On Monday, Musk also revealed that Apple had stopped advertising on Twitter, presumably in preparation for taking further action.

    Speculation over app stores potentially targeting Twitter intensified after Apple executive Phil Schiller deactivated his Twitter account for no apparent reason days after Donald Trump was restored to the platform.

    As we document in the video below, Apple has a history of helping the Chinese government snuff out protest movements, so for them to do it in the west wouldn’t be a huge surprise.

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    Twitter Stops Enforcing COVID-19 Misinformation Policy

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    Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

    Twitter will no longer enforce its Covid-19 misinformation policy, under which users who deviated from prevailing establishment narratives frequently had their accounts locked or suspended.

    The longstanding policy did not apply to misinformation from government officials, who regularly lied about things such as transmission, masks, vaccine efficacy, side effects, or any of the other ‘science’ which turned out to be patently false.

    Twitter did not officially announce the change, rather, the company added a note to a page on its website outlining its Covid-19 policy.

    Effective November 23, 2022, Twitter is no longer enforcing the COVID-19 misleading information policy,” reads the note, which follows a line that still reads: “As the global community faces the COVID-19 pandemic together, Twitter is helping people find reliable information, connect with others, and follow what’s happening in real time.”

    What’s more, Sky News reports that the company’s Covid-19 ‘misleading information’ policy was nuked, which showed that the company operated on a strike system in which those who had a label added to their tweets were given one strike, while those with deleted tweets were given two strikes. Users with two to three strikes would have a 12-hour lockout, while those with four strikes were permanently suspended.

    The platform suspended more than 11,000 accounts and removed nearly 98,000 pieces of content for violating its COVID misinformation policy between January 2022 and September 2022, according to information published by Twitter.

    The site also reduced the visibility of tweets or accounts believed to be in violation of the policy by stopping tweets or retweets from those accounts appearing in certain parts of Twitter, displaying their replies in lower positions in conversations and excluding their tweets or account from recommendations on the site. -Sky News

    Of note, half of Twitter’s content moderation, human rights and communications teams were laid off when new owner Elon Musk took over. Hundreds more left after Musk issued an ultimatum to staff requiring them to sign up for “long hours at high intensity” or leave.

    Meanwhile…

    This post originally appeared at Zero Hedge

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    F**k Apple

    Trying to kick Elon’s Twitter off the app store.

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    Who made Apple the Praetorian Guards of the Internet?

    Why should they have a monopoly over permissible content when 97.5% of their donations go to Democrats?

    And who made them moral arbiters of anything given what they get up to in China?

    Please share this video! https://youtu.be/2uS8tUbdBNc

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