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RT and Sputnik banned by EU in crackdown on ‘harmful disinformation’

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By Hannah Bowler | Journalist

February 28, 2022 | 3 min read

The EU has moved to ban Russian state-backed channels RT and Sputnik to prevent the spread of “toxic and harmful disinformation”.

RT

EU bans Russian-backed news networks RT and Sputnik

Forming part of the EU’s tougher package of sanctions against the Russian government, the news outlets and their offshoots will be switched off in EU nations.

“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,” said European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen. “So we are developing tools to ban their toxic and harmful disinformation in Europe.“

Last week, UK culture secretary Nadine Dorries contacted media regulator Ofcom asking whether RT should be allowed to broadcast in the UK, writing: “I have concerns that broadcasters such as RT, whom Ofcom have found to have repeatedly breached the broadcasting code in the past, will also look to spread harmful disinformation about the ongoing crisis in Ukraine here in the UK.”

Meanwhile, a number of British journalists have already left the UK RT team, with the likes of TV correspondent Shadia Edwards-Dashti announcing her departure on Twitter and former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond suspending his talk show.

Australian pay-TV network Foxtel has already suspended RT.

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