Kremlin backed English news agency RT, formerly known as Russia Today has been blocked by Facebook from posting video on the social media site. RT say they have been told that they can post again after President-elect Donald Trump is inaugurated.
The ban was enacted following an alleged breach of copyright which featured Barack Obama giving a press conference, which RT reposted on its page on Wednesday.
Facebook have said the 72-hour ban was not related to Donald Trump’s inauguration. By all accounts RT is trying to restore its right to post.
According to the RT Website, RT was using a legitimate stream from the Associated Press. It said it was blocked after a complaint from Current Time TV, a Russian language news programme which is funded by Radio Free Europe. In turn this is funded by the US government. Current Time TV denied making a complaint.
Although video is banned, RT can still upload text. One update said, “We were blocked while live streaming Obama’s final press conference. Such things happen because (for example) some other news media live streams carry the same shots and feed, and Facebook considers this a copyright violation”.
The blocking of RT’s capabilities to upload video could be a mistake or it could be a repercussion from the strained relationship between the Obama administration and Russia.
Facebook will suspend accounts for violations to do with copyright for example, although there are few reports of news agencies not being able to post.
Russia’s communications regulator Roskomnadzor has threatened to retaliate against US news agencies.
Margarita Simonyan, of RT said, “I’m not surprised. If the Department of State could block oxygen to us, they would do it.”
RT is often accused of being Moscow’s mouthpiece and last year Natwest backed down from closing its UK bank account. The bank was told countermeasures against the BBC would ensue.