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Social media platform Reddit to block all links coming from Russian domain names

Social media platform Reddit has blocked all links coming in from Russian domain names, including the state-sponsored news sites RT and Sputnik. 

Some communities on Reddit already blocked links from Russian state media and their foreign language affiliates, but the new policy applies site wide. 

‘We have made such restrictions universal across the site in all geographies,’ Reddit said in a blog post. ‘Furthermore, we will continue not to accept advertisements that target Russia or originate from any Russia-based entity, government or private.’

An admin on Reddit confirmed that all domain names ending in .ru had also been blocked, and if added would be removed by Reddit automatically. 

It follows moves from Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms to block Russia Today, Sputnik and other official Russian news sources.

Social media platform Reddit has blocked all links coming in from Russian domain names, including the state-sponsored news sites RT and Sputnik 

Being blocked from Reddit is one of the most impactful forms of ‘deplatforming’ for official news sources, according to experts.

Other platforms, including Apple, Google, Microsoft and Meta, have paused ads, removed content and restricted the ability to find content from Russia-based services, or even blocked content within certain regions. None have blocked globally. 

Reddit has also been rejecting ads that target Russia or come from any Russian-based business, government or private entity.

Moderators of some subreddits, as the communities are known, have already been manually blocking links, but now the links are blocked automatically.

It goes beyond that, as moderators won’t even have the ability to manually approve a link from a Russian source.

Reddit also said it was spending time to help assist and house staff in the Ukraine.

‘The conflict in Ukraine has been shocking and upsetting. Recognizing that this is first and foremost a human tragedy, we have been working to ensure that those in our community and colleagues who are impacted by these events have the support that they need during this difficult time,’ Reddit wrote in a blog post. 

The platform says it is also putting processes in place to deal with ongoing issues with moderation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Some communities on Reddit already blocked links from Russian state media, and their foreign language affiliates, but the new policy applies site wide

Some communities on Reddit already blocked links from Russian state media, and their foreign language affiliates, but the new policy applies site wide

Microsoft halts sales in Russia and Airbnb suspends all bookings there and in Belarus 

Airbnb and Microsoft have become the latest big global firms to halt operations in Russia, as a flood of Western companies add their own punishments to official sanctions against Moscow for invading Ukraine.

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky on Thursday announced the suspension, which also includes Russian ally Belarus. It aligns his company with other major Western names severing ties with Russia including General Motors, Boeing and Google.

The exodus of Western firms is adding to pressure on Vladimir Putin, and everyday Russians are no longer able to buy Apple’s iPhone, Nike sneakers or IKEA furniture after those companies halted all exports to the country.

As well, Microsoft said on Friday it was suspending new sales of its products and services in Russia, a further step after it removed RT’s mobile apps from the Windows App Store and banned advertisements on Russian state-sponsored media. 

And New York Stock Exchange halted trading in a number of Russia-exposed ETFs, shutting off one of the only remaining avenues for average Americans to invest in Russian assets.  

Airbnb previously said its non-profit arm would offer free, temporary housing for up to 100,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine.  

Chesky also said that some people were using Airbnb to book accommodations in Ukraine even though they didn’t plan to stay there, as a way to send financial support to Ukrainians.

‘We are in active contact with our moderators and communities—particularly those most affected by the conflict—to provide support, resources, and specialized tooling so they can continue to function without interference,’ a spokesperson wrote.

This is to reduce the risk of misinformation appearing on the website, including content not coming from a Russian source directly.

Reddit has also been escalating moderator requests related to the invasion, so they can be reviewed and acted on quickly, as well as daily guidance for the community and safety team, to ensure they don’t remove newsworthy content.   

‘This is a live situation, and our response is evolving every day as we gain new information,’ a spokesperson said. 

‘Reddit, at its core, is about community, and we will continue to do whatever we can to ensure that our platform remains available for people to connect, support each other, access reliable information, and express their authentic opinions and feelings during this difficult time.’

Russia has started to retaliate against broadcasters, websites and social media platforms that block content from RT and Sputnik.

Russian President Vladimir Putin blocked Facebook for ‘discrimination towards Russian media’, announced by its media regulator Roskomnadzor, citing ’26 instances of discrimination toward Russian media’.

Earlier on Friday Facebook’s parent company Meta announced that RT and Sputnik would be barred from Facebook and Instagram in the UK, three days after the sites were banned across Europe. 

The latest big-tech clampdown on Moscow’s propaganda machine came at the request of the British Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries who wrote to Meta, Twitter and TikTok on Thursday to request the ban.   

Ms Dorries said in her letter that Russia’s President Putin should not be allowed to ‘exploit our open and free media to spread damaging propaganda into Britain’ and described his invasion of Ukraine as ‘intolerable’.  

‘I want to urge you to do everything you can to apply the approach you are taking across the EU to block access both to RT and to Sputnik’s online output on your UK services,’ she wrote in a letter seen by Sky News

The change means RT and Sputnik’s pages are not visible on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube’s pages in the EU or UK, as well as Reddit worldwide.

Russia’s lower house also backed legislation that would impose harsh jail terms and fines on newspapers and journalists that publish ‘fake news’, that ‘led to serious consequences. With sentences of up to 15 years in prison being proposed.

In the US, at least 10 states have banned the sale of Russian vodka, and others have moved to divest state pension funds from any Russian assets or forbid state contracts with Russian companies

In the US, at least 10 states have banned the sale of Russian vodka, and others have moved to divest state pension funds from any Russian assets or forbid state contracts with Russian companies

The exodus of Western firms is adding to pressure on Vladimir Putin, and everyday Russians are no longer able to buy Apple's iPhone, Nike sneakers or IKEA furniture after those companies halted all exports to the country

The exodus of Western firms is adding to pressure on Vladimir Putin, and everyday Russians are no longer able to buy Apple’s iPhone, Nike sneakers or IKEA furniture after those companies halted all exports to the country

Amendments were also passed to fine or jail people calling for sanctions against Russia.

The BBC, which has a large bureau in Moscow and runs a Russian-language news website, reacted by announcing a halt of its operations in Russia.

‘This legislation appears to criminalise the process of independent journalism,’ BBC Director-General Tim Davie said in a statement.

He warned that journalists could face ‘the risk of criminal prosecution simply for doing their jobs’.

Two Russian outlets, Nobel Prize-winning newspaper Novaya Gazeta and business news website The Bell, said Friday they will stop reporting on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to protect their journalists.

Putin blocks Facebook for ‘discrimination towards Russian media’ – after the social media giant banned RT and Sputnik channels in UK at request of British government 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has blocked Facebook for ‘discrimination towards Russian media’ – after the social media giant banned Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik in the UK at the request of the British government.   

Russia’s media regulator Roskomnadzor announced on Friday, just one week after Moscow invaded Ukraine, that Facebook would be banned, citing ’26 instances of discrimination toward Russian media.’

Earlier on Friday Facebook’s parent company Meta announced that RT and Sputnik would be barred from Facebook and Instagram in the UK, three days after the sites were banned across Europe. 

The latest big-tech clampdown on Moscow’s propaganda machine came at the request of the British Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries who wrote to Meta, Twitter and TikTok on Thursday to request the ban.   

Ms Dorries said in her letter that Russia’s President Putin should not be allowed to ‘exploit our open and free media to spread damaging propaganda into Britain’ and described his invasion of Ukraine as ‘intolerable’.  

‘I want to urge you to do everything you can to apply the approach you are taking across the EU to block access both to RT and to Sputnik’s online output on your UK services,’ she wrote in a letter seen by Sky News

The change means RT and Sputnik’s pages are not visible on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube’s pages in the EU or UK.   

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