Facebook, TikTok and Microsoft are cracking down on Kremlin-backed media RT and Sputnik following the European Union’s ban on Russian state media.

“We have received requests from a number of governments and the EU to take further action regarding Russian state-controlled media. Given the exceptional nature of the current situation, we will restrict access to RT and Sputnik across the EU at the moment,” said Nick Clegg, vice president of global affairs at Meta, Facebook’s parent company.

A TikTok spokesperson told NPR that it is also blocking the two outlets in the EU. These measures mean that people using social media apps in EU countries will not be able to access pages or content published by RT and Sputnik.

microsoft monday noted it would remove RT’s news apps from its smartphone app store, show no RT or Sputnik content on its Microsoft Start and MSN.com newsfeed, and push the sites down in search results. Bing search.

On Sunday, EU President Ursula von der Leyen announced a ban on the two outlets, which she described as “the Kremlin’s media machine”.

“The state-owned Russia Today and Sputnik, along with their affiliates, will no longer be able to spread their lies to justify Putin’s war,” she added. tweeted.

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Russian media has become a flashpoint for social media platforms, which are under pressure to curb Russian propaganda and disinformation about the war in Ukraine.

RT and Sputnik have amassed many followers on apps such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, where they push a pro-Kremlin agenda. RT, which has more than 7 million followers on its main Facebook page and 4.6 million subscribers to its main YouTube channel, framed the Russian invasion as a response to Ukrainian aggression and toed the line of the Kremlin calling it a “special operation”.

Google and Facebook are also blocking Russian state media in Ukraine at the request of the local government. Along with Microsoft, they also blocked state-backed outlets from using their advertising tools.

Earlier Monday, Twitter announced that it would put warning labels on tweets containing links to Russian state media articles. It also makes it less likely that people will see those tweets, like what he did with misrepresentations about the 2020 election and COVID-19.

Editor’s note: Meta pays NPR to license NPR content. Microsoft is one of NPR’s financial backers.