Twitch bans Russian state media from tackling harmful disinformation spreaders

Amazon’s Twitch will ban users who persistently broadcast misinformation on and off the live video streaming site, in a move that blocks Russian state media from the platform, it said. THURSDAY.

Twitch, which is popular with video gamers, said the rule would prohibit users whose online presence is dedicated to spreading widely debunked misinformation with obvious risks of real-world harm, such as conspiracies that promote violence.

A spokesperson for Twitch said the new rule would prevent Russian state media from establishing a presence on the site, as media outlets had consistently spread misinformation outside of its service.

The spokesperson said Russian media was not prominent on the platform, but was removing a channel with minimal activity which he said had links to Russian news network RT.

RT said earlier on Thursday it would join video site Rumble, which is popular with American conservatives, in a move that follows point-of-sale restrictions imposed by major online platforms including Facebook and Twitter.

The EU announced sanctions banning RT and Sputnik, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Moscow says its actions in Ukraine are a “special operation”.

Twitch said its new rule against “misinformation harmful actors” would impact fewer than 100 channels at launch. In April, the streaming service announced that it would ban users for behavior that occurred outside of its site.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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