By Dawn Chmielewski
(Reuters) – Streaming media company Roku is removing the app for Russian state television network Russia Today from its Roku Channel Store in Europe, a person familiar with the matter said on Monday.
Roku joins other technology companies that have taken steps to restrict access to Russian state media outlets.
Meta Platforms Inc, the parent company of Facebook, announced earlier on Monday that it would restrict access to RT and the news agency Sputnik in the European Union.
Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s Google also banned RT and other state media from running ads on their platforms. Google’s YouTube on Saturday said it had suspended several Russian state-media channels from making money on ads.
The major technology companies are under mounting pressure to tackle disinformation related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The premiers of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia wrote a joint letter to the four major online platforms on Sunday, urging them to take more steps “to address the Russian government’s unprecedented assault on truth.”
A group of media companies in Ukraine initiated a “switch off” Russian media campaign on Feb. 26, asking pay TV providers and streaming services to replace Russian news outlets with a broadcast out of Ukraine.
So far, providers in Poland, Australia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Canada, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Bulgaria and Germany have done so, according to a translated Facebook post from 1+1 Media, a Ukrainian media company that operates seven TV channels, a group of internet sites.
(Reporting by Dawn Chmielewski in Los Angeles; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Kim Coghill)