Veto of Russian war propaganda: can it affect freedom of expression? | Videos

 Veto of Russian war propaganda: can it affect freedom of expression?  |  Videos

On February 27, the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced a battery of sanctions against Russia that included an unprecedented decision: the veto of two media outlets, the Sputnik news agency and the RT television network. (Russia Today), both financed by the Russian government: “They will not be able to spread their lies again to justify Putin’s war and divide the European Union,” the European leader justified then. European regulation It prohibits operators from “disseminating, facilitating or otherwise contributing to the broadcast of any content” and also its distribution on “internet video-sharing platforms or applications, whether new or previously installed”.

As a consequence, the main social networks such as Meta, Youtube, Twitter or TikTok blocked the accounts of these media outlets in Europe. “War propaganda is prohibited under international law,” explains Joan Barata, an expert on free speech and media regulation at Stanford University’s Center for Cyber ​​Policy. “But that is a prohibition that applies when the dissemination of certain pieces of propaganda creates an immediate and clear risk of inciting military actions. Here we are talking about a ban that does not concern Ukraine or Moldova, but the European Union. Therefore, we cannot say that the dissemination of this type of content, however undesirable it may be, generates a direct risk of inciting war activities in the countries of the European Union. That’s where I see the problem,” he adds.

Added to this decision by the European Commission are other measures carried out by large technology companies against disinformation. YouTube, for example, has extended the veto to these two channels on a global scale and has monitored compliance with its community standards, which does not allow content that “denies, minimizes or trivializes well-documented violent events”, which has led to restrict appearances by the Russian government in which false information about the invasion of Ukraine was spread. “Youtube does not allow the denial of well-documented violent acts,” explains Jordi Pérez Colomé, editor of Technology at EL PAÍS.

In this video we explain how certain content about the war in Ukraine is being restricted and we reflect on whether these measures against Russian propaganda can affect freedom of expression and free access to information.

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– Article Written By @Antonio Nieto ,Saúl Ruiz from