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TikTok limits services in Russia following ‘fake news’ law

Anyone who writes news deemed false about the Russian military could face up to 15 years in jail. (Picture: Getty)

TikTok, the Chinese-owned video app, said on Sunday that it would suspend live-streaming and the uploading of videos to its platform in Russia.

The move follows the introduction of a new media law signed on Friday by President Vladimir Putin.

‘We have no choice but to suspend livestreaming and new content to our video service while we review the safety implications of this law,’ the social media company said in a series posts on Twitter.

TikTok, which has around 36 million users in Russia, said the move was about ensuring the safety of its staff and users.

For the latest updates on the Russia-Ukraine war, visit our live blog: Russia-Ukraine live

According to the new law introduced on Friday, anyone who writes news deemed false about the Russian military could face up to 15 years in jail.

The new law threatens jail terms for spreading what the Kremlin describes as ‘fake news’. Among other things, the Kremlin objects to the conflict being called a war, instead calling it a ‘special military operation’.

The BBC and other news outlets have already stopped reporting in Russia, saying they can no longer be independent.

While Russians can lo longer upload new content to TikTok, the app’s in-app messaging service will not be affected.

Russia is home to many high-profile TikTokers who might protest the ‘fake news’ law. The move also means that less pro-Russia content will make its way to people’s For You Pages.

Just last week, TikTok more than tripled its maximum video length by allowing users to post videos upto 10 minutes long even as it struggled to moderate disinformation regarding the conflict on its platform.

TikTok said that it would continue to evaluate the evolving circumstances in Russia to determine when it might fully resume services while safety remains the top priority

MORE : TikTok now lets you post 10-minute long videos

MORE : TikTokers are eating ‘lettuce crisps’ as a healthy alternative – but it’s literally just salad

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