Twitch Bans Russian State-Controlled Media Spreading Misinformation
Shari Lynn Kramer / 07 Mar 2022
In response to bans imposed on Russian state-controlled media, Twitch joins in. It’s hard to imagine Russian TV broadcast on this gaming-oriented platform, but there are users spreading it systematically. From now on, they will be banned under the platform’s decision to participate in infowar.
This presence is quite noticeable, wide enough for the Twitch administration to address the issue. Under the existing rules, broadcasting of videos from these sources qualifies as “bearing clear risks of real-world harm”. So far, only one channel was detected that had been spreading news from Russia Today and Sputnik, two of the most active Russia-controlled media. Further bans may follow, too, but the overall number of channels impacted will so far be under 100.
Hardly will it change anything for a Russian audience, given that the propaganda is widely spread on TV, radio, and government-controlled sites, and Twitch isn’t popular outside the gaming community. Still, this move prevents this misinformation from spreading outside of Russia. Knowing the manners of Roskomnadzor, Russia’s de facto censorship agency, this move can be soon rated as “hostile”, leading to Twitch getting banned in Russia completely.
So far, most social media impose their own bans on Russian-owned channels and pages. One of the rare exceptions is Rumble, a video service popular among US conservatives and far-right audiences and affiliated with Donald Trump. It looks, though, that this positioning itself marks these channels as misinformation and forms a certain skeptic attitude to whatever message they may broadcast.
Do you think the efforts taken by the world’s social media are sufficient? Do you have a habit of fact-checking and taking news critically? Share what you think about it in our comments section!