Russia tells TikTok not to recommend military content to minors

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Printed TikTok logos are seen in this illustration taken February 15, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

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Feb 28 (Reuters) - Russia's communications regulator on Monday demanded TikTok stop including military-related content in recommended posts for minors, in an announcement shared in its official Telegram channel.

The regulator Roskomnadzor said it had identified content on the video-sharing app related to Russia's "special military operation" in Ukraine and that a lot of it was anti-Russian in character.

Russia, which has fined tech firms and hobbled their services in the country during a long stand-off with Big Tech platforms, has ramped up pressure on sites during the conflict. read more

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A TikTok spokeswoman on Monday also confirmed that it had restricted access to Russian state media outlets RT and Sputnik across the European Union, after the organizations were hit with sanctions by the EU. Facebook-owner Meta Platforms Inc (FB.O) also blocked access to the two outlets.

TikTok is popular with younger users and also has a version aimed at children under 13. It was not clear exactly what the Russian regulator meant in saying TikTok was recommending content specifically to minors. The company has recently said it is testing age-rated content restrictions. read more

TikTok, which is owned by Chinese tech giant ByteDance, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Roskomnadzor's demands.

The app, which was originally known for lip-syncing videos and viral dance trends, has been widely used to document events and share news in the run-up to and during Russia's invasion of Ukraine. It has also seen the spread of misleading footage about the conflict. read more

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Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford and the Moscow bureau; Editing by Aurora Ellis

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Thomson Reuters

Technology correspondent in New York, reporting on social media companies and their impact. Previously based in San Francisco and London, she worked on digital, graphics and investigative teams and covered the U.S. 2020 presidential election. She was part of a Reuters reporting team that won Gerald Loeb, Scripps Howard and SABEW Best in Business awards.