Kremlin condemns blocking RT channels by Facebook


This March 29, 2018 file photo shows the Facebook logo on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square. Facebook plummeted 19 percent Thursday, July 26, 2018, after warning of slower growth ahead, erasing more than $100 billion in value. (Photo: AP)

MOSCOW, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- The Kremlin on Monday condemned the blocking of Russian government-backed RT video channels by Facebook as "unprecedented and undisguised pressure on the Russian media."

"Unfortunately, many large companies that provide services in the field of social networks and in other, let's say, digital formats, are also used by the authorities of unfriendly countries as a tool to exert pressure on Russian media," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti news agency.

Such actions lead to a loss of confidence and, probably, to serious damage to the reputation of these largest and quite respected international companies, Peskov added.

Facebook suspended on Friday three online video channels run by Maffick Media, a company whose majority stakeholder is Ruptly, a subsidiary of RT, CNN reported Saturday.

Peskov said he hoped that RT would manage to defend its rights.

RT Editor Margarita Simonyan twitted on Monday that Facebook blocked the channels after a CNN article written following a tip from a fund sponsored by the U.S. State Department that the channels were actually sponsored by the Russian government.

She said that Facebook immediately blocked the channels without advancing any accusations, although RT had never violated any Facebook rules, nor had any complaints from it.

She said just one of the blocked channels, In the Now, was "wildly successful" with 2.5 billion views and 4 million subscribers on Facebook.