In a surprise move, RT (formerly known as Russia Today) has been banned from posting articles, photos, and videos to Facebook. The ban was instituted yesterday after RT allegedly ran a pirated stream of Obama’s last press conference. The ban is scheduled to be lifted at 2:35pm ET on Saturday, the day after Trump’s inauguration.
While RT has been banned from posting articles, the news outlet is still able to post text directly to Facebook. The Kremlin-funded media outlet was an early and vocal supporter of president-elect Donald Trump, leading some people to find the timing of the ban suspicious.
“I’m not surprised. If the Department of State could block oxygen to us, they would do it”, RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan was quoted saying overnight.
“We were blocked while livestreaming Obama’s final press-conference. Such things happen because (for ex.) some other news media livestreams carry the same shots and feed, and Facebook considers this a copyright violation,” RT said in a statement on Facebook.
RT seems to believe that there was direct US government involvement in the ban and plans to fight it. The Russian news outlet claims that they were running an Associated Press stream of the press conference. The organization that supposedly sent the copyright notice, Current Time TV, reportedly told RT that they did no such thing.
Current Time TV sent RT a statement stating that, “the channel has not sent any complaints regarding RT or any other organizations in connection with the live feed.”