TikTok is suspending new video uploads and livestreams on its app in Russia, citing the country’s newly-passed “fake news” law as the reason for the change.
“In light of Russia’s new ‘fake news’ law, we have no choice but to suspend livestreaming and new content to our video service while we review the safety implications of this law,” TikTok writes on Twitter. “Our in-app messaging service will not be affected.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed off on the fake news law last week. It punishes people with fines or up to 15 years behind bars for spreading “false information” about Russia’s military or for publicly calling for sanctions on Russia. As Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine, it has begun to crack down on social platforms and foreign media — Russia has put a block on Facebook, restricted access to Twitter, and has barred access to BBC news sites.
Last week, Russia’s communications agency Roskomnadzor called out TikTok for removing state-backed content from its platform. TikTok later announced plans to add labels to “some” state-controlled media, and has reportedly been making it harder for users to access Russian state media, in line with moves from Facebook, YouTube, and many others.
“We will continue to evaluate the evolving circumstances in Russia to determine when we might fully resume our services with safety as our top priority,” TikTok notes.