The news outlet RT has been briefly blocked from making news shares or posts on Facebook.
The block was initiated while the Russian-owned, English language news outlet had a Facebook livestream of President Barack Obama’s final press conference. The block was supposed to stand until the 21st of January at 22:35 Moscow time, however, it was lifted a day later. During this time, RT was permitted to post text but could not share their own news content in the form of stories, videos or livestreams.
The block may have come as a result of Facebook registering the stream of Obama’s press conference as being a copyright violation. This is due to the fact that many different news sources stream the same footage and camera angles.
Mainstream media outlets CNN, NBC and CBS similarly had livestreams of the press conference on their respective Facebook pages with no sanction received. While the cause of the sanction to RT is not definitely known, it is worthwhile to note Facebook’s history of suspending pages with conservative or libertarian leanings. In 2016, the pages Occupy Democrats Logic and Being Libertarian were both suspended over what were seen by many news outlets as dubious grounds.
RT has been reporting with a generally pro-Trump angle on stories, likely due to the fact of Trump’s willingness to have good relations with Russia and the Russian government’s ownership of RT. One might suspect that RT’s block may have been due to these facts, especially since the American Left have shown a recent hawkishness towards Russia in light of Trump’s more optimistic attitude on US-Russia relations. The precise reason remains unknown as of yet.
Featured image: 2017, Sputnik news/World