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Reddit sides with Ukraine, bans all links to Russia’s state-sponsored RT and Sputnik

Reddit sides with Ukraine, bans all links to Russia’s state-sponsored RT and Sputnik


‘We have made such restrictions universal across the site in all geographies’

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Reddit is now categorically banning its users, globally, from posting links to Russian state-sponsored media outlets, including RT and Sputnik — and it may not have even stopped there. A Reddit admin has seemingly confirmed that Reddit is blocking links to all websites that end in .ru.

As far as RT and Sputnik are concerned, it’s possibly the most concrete deplatforming of those channels yet — because while Apple, Google, Meta, Microsoft, Twitter, YouTube, and many others have paused their ads or removed content or restricted discoverability or stopped actively promoting content, and both Facebook and YouTube have blocked content in the EU specifically, none of those is the same thing as a blanket site-wide global ban on all links.

In a blog post (via Engadget), Reddit says it’s already been rejecting ads “that target Russia or originate from any Russia-based entity, government or private,” notes that the moderators of some subreddits have already blocked links to Russian state media on their own, and additionally says it’s spending to help assist and house some of its staff in Ukraine.

Reddit seemingly admits that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will be an ongoing moderation challenge, though, and says it’s put a process in place so moderators can escalate problems directly to the Reddit team.

We’re keeping track of the latest implications and reactions from tech to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in this StoryStream. Rest of World has a good list of tech company reactions as well.

Update, 8:49PM ET: Added that Reddit may be blocking all .ru links, not just state-sponsored media.