TikTok Suspends ‘Livestreaming and New Content’ Services in Russia

by Michael Freeman

Every day since Russia began its Ukraine invasion it seems more organizations are severing ties with the former country. You can add TikTok to that list, as the platform announced it is suspending “livestreaming and new content” services in Russia.

What we Learned

  • TikTok released a statement suspending “livestreaming and new content” services in Russia.
  • Messaging is still available within the app and the organization will monitor the Russia situation to decide future actions.
  • The platform is also taking measures against misinformation.
  • Fast food chains face pressure to also cease operations with Russia.

TikTok released a statement on their official website yesterday. Unfortunately, if you enjoy content on the platform from Russian users, you’ll have to go without it for some time. In addition to suspending “livestreaming and new content” to its video service in Russia, it is taking measures to combat misinformation.

“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,” the statement reads. “However, our highest priority is the safety of our employees and our users, and in light of Russia’s new ‘fake news’ law, 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.”

 The company elaborated on certain features, such as in-app messaging, which will not be affected. “Our in-app messaging service will not be affected. 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.”

This announcement comes after another recent statement TikTok made about fighting against spreading false information. Russian media currently seeks to regulate news throughout the country and about the current crisis, which TikTok will not condone.

Fast Food Chains Face Similar Pressure to Cease Operations in Russia

Many livestreaming services, retail chains, and alcohol distributors are all severing ties with Russia for now amid the conflict. As one might expect, many other significant chains face similar pressure, particularly notable fast-food franchises.

According to Yahoo! News, McDonald’s and PepsiCo are among the food and drink companies facing added pressure to cut Russian business ties. In a letter last Friday, New York state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli urged the companies to reconsider Russian business transactions. To be specific, he cited “significant and growing legal, compliance, operational, human rights and personnel, and reputational risks.”

Further in the letter, DiNapoli added doing so “would address various investment risks associated with the Russian market.” It would also help with “condemning Russia’s role in fundamentally undermining the international order.”

As of now, McDonald’s and PepsiCo have not responded.