TikTok will temporarily restrict users in Russia from livestreaming and uploading new videos to its platform, the company announced on Sunday. It said it was doing so in response to the country's recently enacted “” law, which threatens up to 15 years in jail for individuals accused of spreading "misinformation" about it military and or government.
1/ TikTok is an outlet for creativity and entertainment that can provide a source of relief and human connection during a time of war when people are facing immense tragedy and isolation. However, the safety of our employees and our users remain our highest priority.— TikTokComms (@TikTokComms) March 6, 2022
"We have no choice but to suspend livestreaming and new content to our video service in Russia while we review the safety implications of this law," TikTok said, noting at the same time that the safety of its users is its "highest priority" as a company.
For the time being, TikTok users in Russia can continue to message one another and their friends in other countries. "We will continue to evaluate the evolving circumstances in Russia to determine when we might fully resume our services with safety as our top priority," the company stated.
The move comes shortly after TikTok said it would start adding labels to videos from some state-controlled media outlets. On Friday, the company noted it had begun working on the policy last year but had decided to expedite its rollout in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. TikTok users can expect to see the labels start showing up sometime within the next few days. In a statement to The Verge, TikTok said it would apply the labels to at least some Russian outlets. The same day TikTok announced the policy, Russia's Roskomnadzor accused the platform of removing content from Russian media.