Russia’s Fighting a Media War, Too, With Platforms, Regulators, and Business Partners

Most of the international community is treating Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a gross violation of its sovereignty and international law. (Even the famously neutral Swiss are on board.) But the response being summoned isn’t just about economic sanctions or sending weapons — it’s also happening at the level of media.

There are two major fronts being engaged: the mostly U.S.-owned digital platforms through which Russians and Ukrainians communicate with each other and with the world, and the propaganda machinery Russia has managed to build inside Western countries. The pace of change has been dizzying, but here are a few of the most significant.

The platforms want to stop Russian propaganda outlets from making money.

Propaganda outlets like RT (formerly Russia Today) aren’t meant to be moneymakers, but the advertising infrastructure that allows them to generate revenue is nonetheless pushing back. Here’s Facebook:

Facebook says it has restricted Russian state media’s ability to earn money on the social media platform as Moscow’s invasion of neighbouring Ukraine reached the streets of Kyiv.“We are now prohibiting Russian state media from running ads or monetising on our platform anywhere in the world,” Nathaniel Gleicher, the social media giant’s security policy head, said on Twitter on Friday.

Here’s Google:

Google barred on Saturday Russia’s state-owned media outlet RT and other channels from receiving money for ads on their websites, apps and YouTube videos, similar to a move by Facebook after the invasion of Ukraine.Citing “extraordinary circumstances,” Google’s YouTube unit said it was “pausing a number of channels’ ability to monetize on YouTube.” These included several Russian channels affiliated with recent sanctions, such as those by the European Union. Ad placement is largely controlled by YouTube.

Google added later that it was also barring Russian state-funded media outlets from using its ad technology to generate revenue on their own websites and apps. In addition, the Russian media will not be able to buy ads through Google Tools or place ads on Google services such as search and Gmail, spokesman Michael Aciman said.

Here’s Twitter:

Twitter has temporarily paused ads in Ukraine and Russia, one of several steps the company is taking to highlight safety information and minimize “risks associated with the conflict in Ukraine.”“We’re temporarily pausing advertisements in Ukraine and Russia to ensure critical public safety information is elevated and ads don’t detract from it,” the company wrote in an update that was also shared in Ukrainian. Twitter also said it’s temporarily halting the recommendations feature that surfaces tweets from accounts users’ don’t follow in their home timelines in order to “reduce the spread of abusive content.”

Russia wants to block independent sources of information, and the platforms want to restrain Russia’s reach.

Of course, eyeballs are more important than dollars in a propaganda war. Platforms can block disinformation campaigns:

Facebook and Instagram have taken down a disinformation network targeting people in Ukraine, as their owner announced it was blocking access to Kremlin-backed media organisations in the country.Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta said it had uncovered a “relatively small” network of about 40 accounts, pages and groups on the two social media platforms.

The network ran websites posing as independent news entities and created fake personas across social media including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Telegram as well as Odnoklassniki and VK in Russia, Meta added.

But Russia can also block access to the platforms when they dare to fact-check:

The Russian government has partially blocked access to Facebook in the country after it claims the social network “restricted” the accounts of four Russian media outlets.In a statement on Friday, Russia’s tech and communications regulator, Roskomnadzor, said Facebook was violating “the rights and freedoms of Russian citizens,” and that it had recorded 23 cases of “censorship” by the social network since October 2020.

“On February 24, Roskomnadzor sent requests to the administration of Meta Platforms, Inc. [to] remove the restrictions imposed by the social network Facebook on Russian media and explain the reason for their introduction,” the Russian regulator said, adding that Meta “ignored” its requests…Meta’s president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, confirmed that the company declined to comply with the government’s requests to “stop fact-checking and labelling of content posted on Facebook by four Russian state-owned media organizations.”

Russia can block access to independent media:

The Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine has played through a filter of propaganda here in Moscow, where the authorities appear concerned that ordinary Russians will be disgusted by scenes of missiles striking Kyiv and have sought to cut off the public from that uncomfortable truth.To do so, the Russian government has taken extraordinary steps by throttling Facebook and threatening to shut independent media outlets such as TV Rain and the newspaper Novaya Gazeta, which published an edition in Russian and Ukrainian this week with the banner headline “Russia is bombing Ukraine”.

The media have been told to use only official government sources for their reports and not to use certain words to describe the operation. According to the Latvian-based Russian news website Meduza, the words are: “Attack, invasion, war.”

But journalists have their own ways to fight back:

Elena Chernenko, a journalist for the Moscow daily Kommersant, woke up Friday to find out that access to top government officials she’s had for over a decade had suddenly been revoked. Her crime? Publishing an open letter not criticizing the government but voicing her opposition to war. Over 280 other journalists signed Chernenko’s letter, including some who are employed directly by the Kremlin at state-run news agencies…In a country where journalists are regularly arrested and detained for little or no reason, publicly signing a letter opposing the government’s action is a brave thing to do, especially for those who have already been detained for their journalism.

One of those is Ilya Azar, a correspondent for Novaya Gazeta who has covered past conflicts in Ukraine. While he has been detained twice for his political activities, he didn’t think twice about signing the letter.

“We don’t have many instruments to influence the authorities in Russia nowadays, so we must use every opportunity,” Azar told VICE World News. “There wasn’t any doubt for me to sign this letter. This is very, very far from the required level of pressure on Putin to stop this fucking war, but at least this is something.”

Even those who probably should have known better pre-invasion can take a stand:

Opposition to coverage of Russia’s Ukraine invasion at Kremlin-funded RT has seen reporters quit and the website hacked, as MPs called on Ofcom to ban the outlet…On Thursday, two RT journalists Jonny Tickle and Shadia Edwards-Dashti left their jobs at the broadcaster, though only the former made clear he was resigning in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Tickle said on Twitter “recent events” forced him to resign from RT “with immediate effect”.

Since then, several more journalists have resigned from the service including presenter Danny Armstrong, producer Ross Field and French host Frédéric Taddeï, who said he had quit the show he presented out of “loyalty to France”.

Cable companies face pressure to cut off RT.

In Canada:

Canada’s largest television providers are removing Russia Today from their services after one of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s ministers said he opposed the state-owned Russian broadcaster’s presence on the nation’s airwaves.Rogers Communications Inc., BCE Inc. and Telus Corp. said late Sunday that RT will no longer be available to their customers. The moves came one day after Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez said the government would look at “all options” for eliminating the Kremlin-controlled channel from the Canadian broadcasting system, amid widespread fury over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In Australia:

The Kremlin-backed RT channel, which has reported that Russian troops are trying to liberate Ukraine, has been suspended by Foxtel in Australia.“In view of concern about the situation in Ukraine, the Russia Today channel is currently unavailable on Foxtel and Flash,” a spokesperson for the Foxtel Group said.

Foxtel made the decision on Saturday evening after monitoring the broadcast and stopped streaming RT at 5.45 pm on Foxtel and Flash. The satellite transmission came off the air at 6.40pm.

(It has always been strange, but after the past week, doesn’t it feel absolutely bizarre that so many American cable systems and even radio stations have been happy to take the Kremlin’s money to push out its propaganda? And newspapers’ hands aren’t clean either; to name just one,

The Washington Post has for decades run entire print sections of Kremlin- and China-supplied messaging as “paid supplements.” Between 2016 and 2020, China spent more than $12 million on advertorial in major U.S. newspapers, including the Post, the L.A. Times, The Wall Street Journal, and even the Des Moines Register. And I haven’t even mentioned the Saudis.)

Politicians and regulators both apply and feel that same pressure.

In the U.K.:

Labour has called for a ban on the Russian state-backed broadcaster RT, accusing the channel of pumping out pro-Vladimir Putin “propaganda”.Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, told MPs that the Russian president’s “campaign of misinformation should be tackled”, starting with moves to prevent RT from “broadcasting its propaganda around the world”.

The English-language channel is regulated by Ofcom, which said on Monday it would prioritise any complaints about any broadcast coverage of Ukraine “given the seriousness of the crisis”.

“All licensees must observe Ofcom’s rules, including due accuracy and due impartiality,” an Ofcom spokesperson said. “If broadcasters break those rules, we will not hesitate to step in.”

In Europe:

The European Union will ban Russian media outlets Russia Today and Sputnik, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Sunday.Saying that the EU will ban “Kremlin’s media machine,” von der Leyen added that “state-owned Russia Today and Sputnik, as well as their subsidiaries, will no longer be able to spread their lies to justify Putin’s war and to sow division in our union.”

“We are developing tools to ban the toxic and harmful disinformation in Europe,” von der Leyen said.

Here in the U.S.:

The Federal Communications Commission is on the hunt for companies it oversees that may have ownership ties to Russia, in a prelude to possible clampdowns following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.The internal assessment, which has not been previously reported or publicly announced, was launched this week by FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, according to a person familiar with the matter. It follows mounting scrutiny of Russian-backed programming on US airwaves, social media and other channels as the war in Ukraine unfolds.

Europe refuses to give Russia the cover of cultural exchange.

Throughout the Cold War, cultural diplomacyart exhibitions and concerts, people-to-people exchanges, the Peace Corps, and so on — were used by both sides to reduce tensions and to promote its view of the world. It may seem silly, but decisions like Eurovision booting Russia from its upcoming song contest is a meaningful attempt to block its use of that tool:

“The decision reflects concern that, in light of the unprecedented crisis in Ukraine, the inclusion of a Russian entry in this year’s Contest would bring the competition into disrepute,” the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said in a statement. The decision to punish Russia culturally for invading Ukraine comes a day after the same group had said Moscow would be allowed to send an act to appear at the next Eurovision, scheduled to be held in Turin, Italy, in May.Ukraine’s public broadcasting company had asked for Russia to be suspended from the popular contest, which is watched by almost 200 million people each year. But the EBU, which has organized the contest since 1956, had insisted Eurovision was “a non-political cultural event”…

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Friday urged sporting federations around the world to pull events from Russia and Belarus, a Moscow ally that allowed Russian forces to use its territory to attack Ukraine…The Russian Grand Prix has also been canceled by Formula One, while the Champions League final is set to be moved from St. Petersburg. In New York City, Russian conductor Valery Gergiev, a friend and ally to President Vladimir Putin, was barred from leading performances of the Vienna Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall.

Source: Russia’s fighting a media war, too, with platforms, regulators, and business partners | Nieman Journalism Lab

.

Latest news:

Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service aims to break through the “doom and gloom” — and be actually useful

“It’s O.K. to abandon ship”: How to critically evaluate scientific claims before pursuing a story

Please explain tweet threads to the jury: The Sarah Palin v. New York Times trial shines a light on opinion sections

How UC Berkeley computer science students helped build a database of police misconduct in California

Some resources for following the invasion of Ukraine

Forget national politics for a sec. A new site brings a local lens to criminal justice and voting rights.

Denver is NewsBreak’s “test market” for original local news on a national app

Facebook is letting a lot of climate change denial slide despite promises to flag it, study finds

Parents really want useful education news. They aren’t all getting it.

How Joe Rogan became podcasting’s Goliath

A new study shows how newsroom and audience diversity affects coverage of political candidates

Kids are falling victim to disinformation and conspiracy theories. What’s the best way to fix that?

This newspaper ruined everyone’s night by sending a premature push notification about the winner of Jeopardy!

Are readers’ biases to blame for gender disparities in sports reporting? This study says no

.

Marketing Materials:

https://quintexcapital.com/?ref=arminham     Quintex Capital

https://www.genesis-mining.com/a/2535466   Genesis Mining

http://www.bevtraders.com/?ref=arminham   BevTraders

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/369164  prime stocks

https://jvz3.com/c/202927/361015  content gorilla

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/366443  stock rush

https://jvz1.com/c/202927/373449  forrk

https://jvz3.com/c/202927/194909  keysearch

https://jvz4.com/c/202927/296191  gluten free

https://jvz1.com/c/202927/286851  diet fitness diabetes

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/213027  writing job

https://jvz6.com/c/202927/108695  postradamus

https://jvz1.com/c/202927/372094  stoodaio

https://jvz4.com/c/202927/358049  profile mate

https://jvz6.com/c/202927/279944  senuke

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/54245   asin

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/370227  appimize

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/376524  super backdrop

https://jvz6.com/c/202927/302715  audiencetoolkit

https://jvz1.com/c/202927/375487  4brandcommercial

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/375358  talkingfaces

https://jvz6.com/c/202927/375706  socifeed

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/184902  gaming jobs

https://jvz6.com/c/202927/88118   backlink indexer

https://jvz1.com/c/202927/376361  powrsuite

https://jvz3.com/c/202927/370472  tubeserp

https://jvz4.com/c/202927/343405  PR Rage

https://jvz6.com/c/202927/371547  design beast

https://jvz3.com/c/202927/376879  commission smasher

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/376925  MT4Code System

https://jvz6.com/c/202927/375959  viral dash

https://jvz1.com/c/202927/376527  coursova

https://jvz4.com/c/202927/144349  fanpage

https://jvz1.com/c/202927/376877  forex expert

https://jvz6.com/c/202927/374258  appointomatic

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/377003  woocommerce

https://jvz6.com/c/202927/377005  domainname marketing 

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/376842  maxslides

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/376381  ada leadz

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/333637  eyeslick

https://jvz1.com/c/202927/376986  creaite contentcreator

https://jvz4.com/c/202927/376095  vidcentric

https://jvz1.com/c/202927/374965  studioninja

https://jvz6.com/c/202927/374934  marketingblocks

https://jvz3.com/c/202927/372682  clipsreel

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/372916  VideoEnginePro

https://jvz1.com/c/202927/144577  BarclaysForexExpert

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/370806  Clientfinda

https://jvz3.com/c/202927/375550  Talkingfaces

https://jvz1.com/c/202927/370769  IMSyndicator

https://jvz6.com/c/202927/283867  SqribbleEbook

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/376524  superbackdrop

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/376849  VirtualReel

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/369837  MarketPresso

https://jvz1.com/c/202927/342854  voiceBuddy

https://jvz6.com/c/202927/377211  tubeTargeter

https://jvz6.com/c/202927/377557  InstantWebsiteBundle

https://jvz6.com/c/202927/368736  soronity

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/337292  DFY Suite 3.0 Agency+ information

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/291061  VideoRobot Enterprise

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/327447  Klippyo Kreators

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/324615  ChatterPal Commercial

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/299907  WP GDPR Fix Elite Unltd Sites

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/328172  EngagerMate

https://jvz3.com/c/202927/342585  VidSnatcher Commercial

https://jvz3.com/c/202927/292919  myMailIt

https://jvz3.com/c/202927/320972  Storymate Luxury Edition

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/320466  iTraffic X – Platinum Edition

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/330783  Content Gorilla One-time

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/301402  Push Button Traffic 3.0 – Brand New

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/321987  SociCake Commercial

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/289944  The Internet Marketing Newsletter PLR Monthly Membership

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/297271  Designa Suite License

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/310335  XFUNNELS FE Commercial Drag-n-Drop Page Editor

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/291955  ShopABot

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/312692  Inboxr

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/343635  MediaCloudPro 2.0 – Agency Rights

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/353558  MyTrafficJacker 2.0 Pro+

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/365061  AIWA Commercial

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/357201  Toon Video Maker Premium

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/351754  Steven Alvey’s Signature Series 3rd Installment

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/344541  Fade To Black

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/290487  Adsense Machine

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/315596  Diddly Pay’s DLCM DFY Club

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/355249  CourseReel Professional

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/309649  SociJam System

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/263380  360Apps Certification Masterclass

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/359468  LocalAgencyBox

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/377557  Instant Website Bundle

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/377194  GMB Magic Content

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/376962  PlayerNeos VR

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: