In response to the new law on “false information”, the Chinese social network announced that it will suspend the creation of new videos on its platform on Russian territory.
The social network TikTok announced on Sunday that it is suspending the possibility of publishing new videos on its platform in Russia, due to a new law that punishes the dissemination of information aimed at “discrediting” the army and its invasion of Ukraine.
“Given the new ‘false information’ law, we have no choice but to suspend live broadcasts and the publication of new content (…) while studying the possible security consequences” of TikTok employees and its users, the social network explained in a series of tweets. .
TikTok, a subsidiary of the Chinese group
The announcement by TikTok, which still maintains its messaging service, comes after a week when Russian authorities blocked access to Facebook in the country and restricted access to Twitter.
In contact with AFP, TikTok did not specify whether the videos published from abroad will remain available to Russian users. The decision of this social network, which has more than a billion users worldwide, has a diplomatic dimension, as TikTok is a subsidiary of the Chinese group ByteDance.
China, which has close ties to Russia, has so far refrained from condemning Ukraine’s invasion.
On Friday, the Russian parliament adopted two texts that strictly frame the information that is spreading about the war in Ukraine and the sanctions imposed on Russia, and they were ratified by President Vladimir Putin.
Disseminating information in order to “discredit” the Russian armed forces is now punishable by 15 years in prison. “Calls for sanctions against Russia” are also subject to criminal prosecution, the texts said. They apply to both the media and individuals, both Russian and foreign.
Many media outlets are suspending activities in Moscow
These measures were seen as a way for the Russian authorities to control the information circulating in Russia about the war in Ukraine and the sanctions imposed by the international community.
Their entry into force led several foreign media outlets to suspend their activities in Russia, especially Bloomberg, the British public broadcaster BBC, while the American channel CNN suspended its broadcasting in the country.
According to a study by Insider Intelligence published this week, TikTok had about 24.7 million accounts in Russia at the end of 2021.
About 30% of Russians interested in video content on social media said they were consulting TikTok in a Deloitte study published in September 2021.
However, the platform remained quite far from YouTube, which had 76 million users in Russia at the end of 2021, according to Insider Intelligence. When asked by AFP, Google, the parent company of YouTube, did not answer immediately.