September 30, 2022
Russia tells TikTok not to recommend military content to minors

Russia’s communications regulator called for TikTok to stop including military-related content in posts recommended for minors in an announcement shared on its official Telegram channel on Monday.

Regulator Roskomnadzor said it had identified content on the video-sharing app related to Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine and much of it was anti-Russian in character.

Russia, which has fined tech firms and hobbled its services in the country during a prolonged standoff with the Big Tech platform, has increased the pressure on sites during the conflict.

A TikTok spokesperson also confirmed on Monday that the organizations were restricted access to Russian state media outlets RT and Sputnik in the European Union following EU sanctions. Facebook-owned Meta Platforms also blocked access to the two outlets.

TikTok is popular with younger users and it also has a version for children under the age of 13. It was not clear what the Russian regulator meant by saying that TikTok was recommending content specifically for minors. The company recently said that it is testing age-rated content restrictions.

TikTok, which is owned by Chinese tech giant ByteDance, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Roskomnadzor’s demands.

The app, which was originally known for its lip-syncing videos and viral dance trends, has been widely used to document events and share news during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It has also seen the proliferation of misleading footage about the conflict.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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